Do’s and don’ts of AFB Control


  • Report AFB to the Management Agency within 7 days of finding it
  • Inspect your hives for AFB at least twice a year
  • Inspect hives before removing bees, honey or equipment
  • Inspect all brood frames
  • Shake bees off the frames before inspecting them
  • Train yourself and your staff in techniques to recognise and eliminate AFB
  • Burn infected colonies
  • Feed pollen substitutes rather than pollen
  • Feed sugar syrup rather than frames of honey
  • Use hive and apiary quarantines
  • Only use approved sterilisation methods
  • Use a thermometer and timer when wax dipping (10 min at 160oC)
  • Treat hives to clear up parasitic mite syndrome (PMS) before checking for AFB
  • Become an approved beekeeper
  • Get suspect AFB samples tested


  • Don’t feed drugs to control AFB
  • Don’t scorch boxes to sterilize them
  • Don’t try to control AFB by removing diseased frames
  • Don’t extract honey from infected colonies
  • Don’t feed bee-collected pollen to colonies
  • Don’t feed extracted honey to bees
  • Don’t let hives get robbed out
  • Don’t shook swarm
  • Don’t let stock knock over beehives
  • Don’t use steam chests to sterilise infected equipment
  • Don’t distribute the equipment from dead hives between other hives
  • Don’t allow colonies to die of varroa or any other cause
AFB Quiz
Take the AFB 5 minute quiz

How well do you know what you need to know about AFB and beekeeping? Take our short quiz and find out.

AFB Videos

Our videos cover everything from your legal obligations to how to recognise AFB, collecting cell and bee samples and more.

AFB Symptoms

There’s a lot of good information here, telling you everything you need to know about recognising AFB: the visual symptoms, smell of AFB and more.

AFB Inspection and Diagnosis
Inspection and Diagnosis

Successfully eliminate AFB by telling the difference between symptoms of AFB and other brood diseases in the hive. We tell you the best methods for inspecting your hives.

The Law

New Zealand beekeepers have a number of legal obligations that must be met regarding AFB disease. Read the shortened list in summary, here.

AFB Elimination

Most hives become infected because bees, honey or equipment have been put into a hive from another hive that is infected with AFB. Lower your chances of an  AFB infection by reading this section.

AFB Course Info
AFB Recognition Course Info

Find out when the next AFB Recognition and Competency Courses, or Refresher Courses are available. These are held throughout the year in various New Zealand locations across the South Island and North Island.

The AFB App

Follow the link below to open the App. Once open to save to your device you need to bookmark the URL on your phone so you can find it easily again. Please click here to open.