Beekeepers urged to be vigilant

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Southland based commercial beekeeper Geoff Scott demonstrates what to do with an infected hive. PHOTO:LAURA SMITH

BEEKEEPERS in Southland still need to be on the lookout for the destructive bee-killing disease American Foulbrood as numbers of infected hives remain constant.

The Management Agency, National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan New Zealand national compliance manager Clifton King said since the easily-spreadable disease was discovered in several Southland hives in July, there was little change to report.

“The level of AFB has been pretty constant.”

Several AFB recognition courses were held in the region to help minimise the spread of the spore-forming bacteria which infects honey bee brood.

A meeting was also held where people with an interest in the industry could learn more.

Southland-based commercial beekeeper Geoff Scott previously said ignorance was a major contributor to the spreading of it and could prove devastating – both financially and emotionally – as it could take about two-and-a-half years to see a return in profit from starting a hive from scratch as contaminated hives and equipment needed to be destroyed.

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