American foulbrood

Rope test being conducted with a match for American foulbrood

American foulbrood rope test being conducted with a match  

American foulbrood (AFB) is a spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae var larvae. The spores can remain viable for at least 40 years, and resist boiling and dehydration.

AFB affects unsealed and sealed brood - young larvae, less than 24 hours old, are most susceptible to the infection.

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, American foulbrood disease will no longer be classified as a quarantine pest of bees. The disease is widespread, well established and cannot be controlled or eradicated. As part of your general biosecurity obligation (GBO), you have a responsibility to take reasonable and practical measures to prevent or minimise the biosecurity risk posed by American foulbrood disease.

Below are links to more information about American foulbrood:

Note: Be careful when purchasing hives from other apiarists. If the disease status of the hives is unknown, ensure that a bulk honey sample, representative of the hives, is tested for the presence of AFB disease agent before you make any payment.

Further information

Last updated 06 December 2011