Oxford Bees

American Foulbrood

Late swarm

Submitted by will on Tue, 02/08/2016 - 21:17

I was called today to collect a late swarm from Barton. The woman who called me says that it is the 5th swarm this season to leave a nearby feral colony.

The feral colony is living in an air brick in a house about 30m from the apple tree where the swarm was clustered. The swarm emerged on Friday. Today is Tuesday. She'd expected them to disperse but there they were.

Collection was simple. Shake them from a branch at head height into a nucleus box. Leave for 5-10 minutes. Thank everyone and remove.

Looking for brood in the new colonies

Submitted by will on Sat, 11/06/2016 - 06:27

I had a quick look into hives B, C and D yesterday afternoon. The news is mixed.

The best news is that I see no evidence of AFB. I'm not experienced enough to be certain so I'll continue to keep a lookout. I'll also review the NBU Foulbrood Diseases advisory leaflet.

Hiving the bees: Settling in; preventing AFB; minor mistakes

Submitted by will on Thu, 26/05/2016 - 15:51

The NBU Regional Bee Inspector advises not to leave any comb in the hive when hiving new swarms because of the local AFB outbreak. Two days ago I put the bees into the hive but I had to remove several frames. Today I opened the hive and put clean, comb-free frames back in.

American Foulbrood detected in central Oxford

Submitted by will on Wed, 25/05/2016 - 12:05

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: