Summer inspection programme begins.
Bee inspectors have started their second summer programme of inspections and surveillance across Scotland to gain a better picture of honey bee health.
These programmes follow on from the bee disease outbreaks of European Foulbrood (EFB) and American Foulbrood (AFB) in 2009 and will allow experts to understand more about the diseases and husbandry factors affecting honey bee health in Scotland.
Following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, tests have recently confirmed EFB in apiaries in Perthshire and West Lothian – both sites have previously been infected in the last four years.
The movement of honey bees and related equipment into or out of the affected sites are prohibited to halt the spread of the disease.
Commercial beekeepers, who have been authorised by the Scottish Government to carry out their own inspections after completing a training event, are also taking part in the checks.
All beekeepers are being urged to be vigilant for signs of the disease, to maintain good husbandry practices and to notify any suspicion of disease to BeesMailbox@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.
Keepers are also being urged to register on the national bee database BeeBase to access up-to-date information on the control of EFB and AFB and bee related issues.
EFB and AFB are notifiable diseases under The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Order 2007, which prohibits the removal of hives, bees, combs and appliances from the affected premises except for submitting samples for laboratory tests.
More information on EFB/AFB: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/animal-welfare/Diseases/disease/brood
More on bee health in Scotland: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/animal-welfare/bee
National Bee Unit, Bee Base: https://secure.csl.gov.uk/beebase/