Roe Valley Beekeepers Association

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European Foul Brood

Recently there have been seven recorded incidents of European foulbrood (EFB) in the North West area of the Province and I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the action we are taking and what beekeepers can do to help protect your colonies.

We are completing brood inspections in the 3 mile surveillance areas around the outbreaks and beekeepers in these areas will be contacted to arrange a bee health inspection as soon as possible. In the meantime we would encourage all beekeepers to remain vigilant for the signs of EFB in their hives whilst completing inspections such as swarm control by checking visible larvae to establish everything looks normal. Should you suspect symptoms of EFB please let us know and we will try to complete an inspection urgently.

 EFB is insidious in nature and can be hard to detect in bee colonies with other factors such as available nectar flow, ratio of bees to brood and stress levels having a strong bearing on its visibility. Further information is included in the NBU leaflet “Foulbrood Disease of Honey Bees” which can be downloaded from BeeBase at

 Developing a keen eye for abnormal brood compared to healthy brood and having good quarantine systems to avoid spreading disease along with reporting any suspicious brood symptoms to DAERA Bee Health Inspectorate are important factors in controlling foulbrood disease on honey bees.


Tom Williamson