An outbreak of European Foulbrood (EFB) has been found in a colony of honey bees in an apiary in West Lothian .
The disease spreads between hives, mainly by beekeepers, their tools and contaminated equipment. The spores that cause the bacterial disease are very resistant to extremes of hot and cold and to many disinfectants so the spread can only be prevented by good hygiene and beekeeping.
Once infected, a colony can die out completely - it is however treatable.
The disease was confirmed laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).
Sheila Voas, Chief Veterinary Officer Scotland said:
“This confirmation of EFB in Scottish bees is a timely reminder that bee farmers and beekeepers should be vigilant for signs of diseases as they go through their hives, they should maintain good husbandry practices at all times and notify any suspicion of disease to Scottish Government bee inspectors.”
In order to assist Scottish Government bee inspectors to control this and other diseases, beekeepers are urged to register on BeeBase, the national bee database.
This service provides access to up-to-date information and advice on the control of EFB and bee related issues. Beekeepers should notify any suspicion of disease to the Scottish Government via the Bees Mailbox