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 is prescribed as restricted matter category 1. This means that you must report it as soon as you become aware of its presence and you must not take any action that may worsen the biosecurity risk posed by American foulbrood. You must also take action to minimise the risk, such as controlling the disease and preventing it from spreading within your apiary and to other apiaries.

Below are links to more information about American foulbrood, including how to control the disease:

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 23 January 2016