Regulation for inspection and treatment of Honeybee related diseases

11. maj 1998

by Henrik Hansen

This regulation contains guidelines that authorized beekeepers, supervising beekeepers and bee inspectors must follow at inspections of bee families in relation to movement, migration beekeeping and changing of ownership, at suspect on about brood, posting of samples and treatment, advises and inspection in relation to AFB, EFB and stone brood. Guidelines to Varroa and the treatment of those are pointed out in other material that can be obtained from  Danmarks JordbrugsForskning, Projektgruppe Biavl.

Inspection of bee families
all bee families must be inspected in conjunction to movement, migration beekeeping and changing of ownership and also after movement out of a 2 km zone around bee yards with AFB or stone brood (and suspected attacks of AFB, EFB and stone Brood.

All brood frames in the bee family must be inspected, and also those, former used as brood frames, must be examined.  The frames are examined for clinical symptoms (visible signs) of AFB, EFB and stone brood. It might be necessary to shuttle of the bees to have a good examination

Rubber gloves must be used when AFB or stone brood are suspected being present. They must be burned afterwards. Otherwise they can be cleaned by carefully use of water and soap

Leather gloves must not be used because they are difficult to clean.

Filling out certifications.
Skilled beekeepers can fill out certifications in relation to  2, point. 1 and point 4  in the departmental order nr. 894 from 23 November 1995. There must be used special blankets, which can be obtained from Project group Biavl.

The certification is filled out in three peaces (one set). The first is given to the owner.  The two next are immediately sent to the bee disease inspector in the local area where the bee families are placed at the time for the examination.

The bee disease inspector stores the certifications for later use in making up. If the bee family is moved or migration are made out of the local area the bee disease inspector must, within eight days, forward the certification to the bee disease inspector in the  local area, where the bees are moved to. If AFB was found previously in the families in the yard and the treatment was not finished, the bee disease inspector must report the movement to project group beekeeping within eight days on a special blanket

 At the end of the beekeeping season, the bee disease inspector make up a final report over the beehives and bee yards that are inspected in the local area, and this report are sent to the project group beekeeping latest the 15. October.

Sending in samples of brood combs
If an examination of the apiary indicates AFB, EFB or Stone Brood, a representative number of samples from the bee yard must be taken and be sent in.

Each sample is taken from an area of the comb, where suspicion of disease is present. The comb sample must be around 10x10cm. The samples are put into plastic bags and then in a carton box. A note with the beekeepers name and address and the senders name and address is put by each sample. It is then send to project group beekeeping. Special wrappings and containers can be ordered from project group beekeeping.

 When the Project Group have examined the samples the result is sent to the beekeeper, the inspector and the bee diseases inspector

Bee yards with suspicion of diseases are kept in quarantine. That means that movements of bees, honey and used equipment are prohibited. Combs and block wax is allowed to be sent to wax melting. The owner must be informed that the bee yard is in quarantine when samples for suspected AFB or Stone brood are taken. When the samples show negative or the treatment has finished, the quarantine is declared terminated.

American foul brood (AFB)
The bee disease inspector is in charge of the treatment and the inspection regarding AFB. The treatment have to start when the project group have given the information. The work must be started as soon as the information on it is received. Notes must be carefully taken about the progress in the workbook.

The treatment is normal a duple treatment. The bee families can under certain circumstances be destroyed. Under all circumstances the combs must be recycled. The procedure is described in the following section.

Duple treatment
Duple treatment is performed in the bee families, which has clinical symptoms of AFB.

The treatment starts in the morning, late afternoon or early evening to limit the risk of robbery.

 There must be used rubber gloves throughout the treatment. The gloves must be burnt when the work have finished. Clothes, veil, smoker, hive tools and other material used through the process shall be washed and cleaned.

At duple treatment the bees are brushed or shuttled into a cleaned box. This can be a hive, a super or a special box. The box is placed on the location of the treated hive. Leading wax stripes are placed in the treatment box. Such a stripe consists of two wooden lists nailed together with a stripe of foundation in between. A queen excluder is placed in front of the hive to prevent escaping the bees when treated. The queen excluder can be placed under the bottom of the super or magazine box. Those boxes are place on some building bricks

After four days the bees are shuttled off from the leaders onto new foundation in totally cleaned hives. A newspaper is put onto the bottom of the hive to catch up rest of honey from the leaders. When the work at the hive have finished, the newspaper is burned

The bees must normally not bee feed while they are building on the leaders. In periods with no honey flow, the bees can be feed with sucker after they are back in the new hive.

Queen less beefamilies can be killed or combined with other beefamilies with queen. The combination takes place in that, that the bees from the queenless family are brushed or shuttled into a box with leaders together with the queenright family. Weak families can likewise be combined with other families

Beefamilies with clinical symptoms of foul brood may be killed if it is a wish from the beekeeper or the bee disease inspector determines that he families are for week to be treated.

The destruction takes place early in the morning or at a time where the bees are not flying. The bees are killed by use of cleaned gasoline. The entrance is tightened up. Then 2-3 dl cleaned gasoline is purged into the hive and the hive is closed.

Equipment and combs.
Combs and bees from destructed families, together with leaders and tighting material must be burned. Further more must old hives, not suitable for proper cleaning be burned. Burning can take place in the yard if permission is given , but it will normally be the best to transfer the material to a refuse disposal plant for burning.

All combs from families with sympthoms of clinical foul brood must be melted down. The process is done by steam. All build out and stored combs (both brood combs and honey combs) must likewise be melted down. If the beekeeper have more Yards, all build out combs must be melted down, unless the material from each yard are stored seperatly. When the combs are sendt to the vax factory they must be  packed up and marked clarly that they are from a yard with AFB.

All material not in use but  used in the beeyard must be cleaned. The material is first scraped free of wax, then cleaned by using one of the following methods.

Cleaning with a gas burner.

Using a scrubbing brush together with hot soap water (1½ dl dishwashing chlorine soap in 10l water) followed with clean water flushing.

High pressure sluicing.

Spraying with a 1%-solution of Virkon® S, which is an environment neutral disinfectant. The spraying is done with a water atomizer and there is used as much as needed to soak the material.