July 18, 2019

Significant Outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) in the Bowdoinham Area

American Foulbrood (AFB) Brood Pattern

American Foulbrood (AFB) Brood Pattern

Attention Beekeepers In The Bowdoinham Area

I have found a significant outbreak of American foulbrood (AFB) in the Bowdoinham area. Hives weakened by the disease were robbed by other hives in the area. There are few registered beekeepers in the area.

Please be on the lookout for AFB and questionable or abnormal brood patterns (see examples at right).

 American Foulbrood (AFB) Larvae Pattern

American Foulbrood (AFB) Larvae Pattern

If beekeepers in the area would like their hives inspected, please contact my office via email [Anthony.M.Jadczak@maine.gov] or phone 287-7562. Alternatively, call Dave Smith at 557-4132 to make arrangements. Non-registered beekeepers shouldn’t hesitate to request an inspection; the goal is to clean up the disease. It would be nice to cluster inspections so time and money isn’t wasted on multiple trips to the area.

American Foulbrood Prevention

  • Never use / buy used equipment about which you do not have a full history; as recently as the ’80s, AFB was present in roughly 18% of Maine hives, as compared to only 1% today…let’s keep it that way.
  • Educate yourself about recognizing AFB through research (Honey Bee Diseases & Pests at www.capabees.com) and mentor guidance.
  • Do a post-mortem for any deceased hive.

Editor’s note: This is a perfect example of why registering your hives annually with the State is wise for you and your bees! 

Registration for your apiary license is always due June 15; once you register the first time, the State will automatically send you the application [maine.gov/dacf/php/apiary] thereafter. 

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