Guide includes how to test and treat American and European Foulbrood, new Veterinary Feed Directive rules for using antibiotics, and the importance of being vigilant
The Honey Bee Health Coalition unveiled a new resource for beekeepers today — an information sheet for hive management decisions related to American Foulbrood (AFB) and European Foulbrood (EFB).
An expert team of beekeepers, entomologists, apiary inspectors and federal regulators produced and reviewed Identifying and Mitigating Foulbrood in Honey Bee Colonies and Reducing the Use of Antibiotics: Information for Beekeepers and Veterinarians. The guide articulates what AFB and EFB are, how to test for them and what to do if a colony has either disease.
“As an inspector in Texas, I found there was a lot of confusion about how to tell if you had foulbrood and what to do if you thought you had it,” said Mary Reed with Apiary Inspectors of America. “In the past, beekeepers have treated prophylactically with antibiotics for foulbrood, but with the new Veterinary Feed Directive the availability of these treatments has changed, and thus beekeepers have needed to adjust their management practices.”
Antibiotics can be used as a last resort for European Foulbrood, but they are an ineffective treatment for American Foulbrood because they simply mask symptoms. Using antibiotics before foulbrood signs are shown can lead to widespread resistance to the class of drugs and the potential for these important tools to be less effective for humans in the future.
The new information is aimed at beekeepers and veterinarians. It provides practical, easy-to-follow information for these fairly complicated diseases and is being released at a time when hives are often susceptible to foulbrood.
To view or download the guide, visit https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/foulbrood.
About the Honey Bee Health Coalition
The Honey Bee Health Coalition brings together beekeepers, growers, researchers, government agencies, agribusinesses, conservation groups, manufacturers, brands and other key partners to improve the health of honey bees and other pollinators. Its mission is to collaboratively implement solutions that help achieve a healthy population of honey bees while also supporting populations of native and managed pollinators in the context of productive agricultural systems and thriving ecosystems. The Coalition focuses on accelerating the collective impact of efforts in four key areas: forage and nutrition; hive management; crop pest management; and communications, outreach and education.
The Honey Bee Health Coalition is a project of the Keystone Policy Center, a nationally recognized nonprofit that brings together diverse stakeholders to find collaborative, actionable solutions to public policy challenges.