There is an outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) in central Oxford at the moment.
AFB affects very young brood inside the nest and is very serious. Its bacterial spores are transmitted through infected honey.
The bees fill their stomachs with honey when they swarm, so I've been advised that a new swarm should be forced to use up all of this stored honey to remove the chance of transmission. In practice this means:
- forcing them to build new comb
- removing any existing comb so they cannot store or infect newly foraged honey
- inspecting for signs of infection
I've no idea whether the swarm I've accepted has AFB but I'm not going to take a chance.