Honey and pollen feeding
Spores found in retail honey
Honey is a well-recognised source of AFB infection. Retail containers of honey have been tested for AFB spores in a number of countries. In one such study detectable levels of spores were found in 12-83% of samples tested. Another survey of 32 retail lines of New Zealand honey found spores in 25% of samples.
Honey taken directly from an AFB hive was found to contain the highest concentration of spores of any hive product (24.3 million spores/g).
Pollen pellets trapped from AFB infected hives were also found to contain large numbers of spores (4.5 million spores/g), although the samples did not have as high a concentration as either honey or cappings wax. Many of the spores in trapped pollen resulted from house bees dropping pieces of diseased pupae into the traps while they were trying to remove the pupae from the hive.
Both honey and pollen taken from a diseased hive can be a major source of AFB infection if fed to another colony.
Feeding colonies with honey or pollen from an infected colony will usually infect the new colony and therefore should be avoided wherever possible.
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Our videos cover everything from your legal obligations to how to recognise AFB, collecting cell and bee samples and more.
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.
New Zealand beekeepers have a number of legal obligations that must be met regarding AFB disease. Read the shortened list in summary, here.
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.
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.