Serious honey bee diseases reported in Norfolk 'hotspots'
There have been recent outbreaks of serious honey bee diseases in parts of Norfolk.
European Foul Brood (EFB) and American Foul Brood (AFB) are caused by bacterial infections that affect the larvae of the honey bees.
Such diseases can subsequently kill the whole infected colony, and have been reported in the Fakenham area.
The West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Beekeepers’ Association (WNKLBA) is alerting the public to these diseases which are highly contagious and can easily spread from one colony to another by bees visiting other hives and bringing the infection back to their own.
In a joint statement with the Norfolk Beekeepers’ Association, WNKLBA is appealing to anyone who remembers seeing or collecting any honey bee swarms in the Fakenham and Wells area this year to report this information to the association.
"We will be grateful for any help you can give us at this time to protect our very special and important honey bees," the statement says.
Bee inspectors are working hard to identify the source of the infections at the moment in an attempt to bring the diseases under control.
If a beekeeper identifies the diseases in any of their colonies it must be reported immediately to the Department for Environment Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The joint statement says: "It is important to do this as, rather like the current regulations we have for coronavirus, we need to be able to track and trace infected colonies."
The contact details to report the swarms and for those who want their colonies to be checked are firstname.lastname@example.org and Keith.Morgan@apha.gov.uk. Mr Morgan is the regional bee inspector who can also be contacted on 07919 004215. There is no charge for this service.
The statement adds: "Not only would it give the beekeeper peace of mind, but it will also help in controlling the spread of this disease."