CONTROLLING AMERICAN FOULBROOD WITHOUT ANTIBIOTICS AND WITHOUT KILLING THE COLONY
A response to the informative article by Cliff van Eaton in BfDJ 91
Ole Hertz, Apicultural Consultant, Skovshoj, Gudjemvej 50, 3760 Gudhjem, Denmark
American foulbrood (AFB) used to be a serious problem in Denmark. For more than 30 years this treatment without use of antibiotics and without killing the colony has been used with great success by beekeepers and government authorities responsible for fighting the disease.
It is a pity to destroy a strong colony and it is not necessary. Only very weak colonies unable to survive the treatment have to be destroyed.
The Danish method for treatment of a strong colony with AFB is:
After AFB is detected in an apiary, all other apiaries less than 3 km away must be inspected by a beekeeper trained in disease detection. If new AFB colonies are found, they must be treated, and all other colonies within 3 km must be investigated.
The government pays for this work and a beekeeper receives a small compensation for the loss. Analyses for AFB spores in honey imported into Denmark show that 90% of all samples are contaminated, while only 30% of Danish honey carry spores.
MINISTRY FOR FARMING (2009) Instructions for trained beekeepers. Copenhagen, Denmark
VEJSNÆS, F.; SØGAARD JØRGENSEN, A. (2006) Bisygdomme,(Bee diseases), Tidskrift for Biavl 3.