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  1. ITV Report

Beekeepers warned about disease affecting honey bees

Since the first case was found 9 years ago, beekeepers have been able to monitor and destroy affected hives. Credit: Fabian Sommer/DPA/PA Images

Beekeepers in Jersey are being warned about a disease that affects honey bees.

A case of American Foulbrood has been confirmed by the States Vet who is advising beekeepers to be vigilant.

The disease occurs when bacteria gets into a beehive and forms a resistant spore. It then feeds off the larvae, causing them to die.

It was first found in Jersey in 2010 and even though the disease has not been detected in the island since 2014, it has always been expected to exist at a low level.

Since the first case was found nine years ago, beekeepers have been able to monitor and destroy affected hives.

The States Veterinary Officer has said it comes as a timely reminder for beekeepers to be aware of the disease and try to prevent it from spreading.

Any islander keeping bees should inspect their hives regularly for any signs of infection. Anyone that suspects that their hives might be infected with a notifiable disease should contact the States Veterinary Office to report their concerns.

– Theo Knight-Jones, States Veterinary Officer

The disease does not harm adult bees but those within a diseased hive can easily spread it to other healthy colonies.

Mr Knight-Jones is also reminding islanders with bees to make sure that their bee hives are registered.

Having a record of beekeepers, and knowing where hives are located, allows us to easily share information and advice...This is particularly important when it comes to diseases – being able to communicate quickly and effectively can help to stop diseases spreading.

– Theo Knight-Jones, States Veterinary Officer

Islanders wanting more information about American Foulbrood and other diseases which affect honey bees, can be found on gov.je.