Beekeeping in Vermont

Beekeeping in Vermont

June 28, 2021 - American Foul Brood (AFB) Paenibacillus larva has been confirmed at a Vermont apiary in the New Haven/ Bristol/ Lincoln region of Addison County. Beekeepers with registered apiaries within 3- miles of the outbreak have been notified.

The hive and associated equipment have been destroyed by fire, by the beekeeper. The remaining colony is under quarantine and enhanced inspection protocols.

The disease is expected to be an isolated occurrence and have originated from the use of old frames containing scale from previous AFB infection. AFB spores remain viable for many decades. Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets (VAAFM) strongly encourages beekeepers to refrain from using previously used equipment without knowing the comprehensive disease history of the apiary.

Beekeepers should remain diligent in their hive inspections. Weak, declining, or dead-out hive frames should be closely examined for scale and clinical symptoms of AFB, before the equipment is reused.

Samples of comb, bees, brood or larvae can be sent to the USDA Beltsville Laboratory in Maryland, for diagnosis.

Enhanced cleaning protocols should be adopted after inspections of colonies suspected of any disease or pathogen, especially AFB. Regularly sterilizing your hive tool, gloves, smoker, and clothing is a recommended best practice for all beekeeping operations.

Any suspect findings of AFB must be reported immediately to VAAFM.

Brooke Decker
Pollinator Health Specialist / State Apiculturist

Please review the VBA Statement on American Foul Brood for details.