Beekeeping in Vermont

Beekeeping in Vermont

Brooke Decker
Pollinator Health Specialist
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
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American Foul Brood has been reported in 2 additional locations in Vermont.

On July 6th 2020, additional cases of American Foul Brood (AFB) Paenibacillus larvae, were self-reported to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The cases were located at 2 different apiaries, one in Jericho and one in Orwell, Vermont.

afbsmThe colonies showing clinical symptoms of AFB were destroyed by fire and remaining colonies sampled for laboratory analysis.

Beekeepers should familiarize themselves with AFB symptoms and observe carefully when inspecting colonies and equipment. Any suspect findings should be reported immediately to Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Pollinator Health Specialist, at 802-272-6688.

 American Foul Brood (AFB) is considered to be one of the worst honey bee diseases. It is an infectious and highly contagious disease spread by the spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae. AFB is said to be the most persistent of honey bee diseases. It’s infectious spores can persist in honey, wax, pollen, and beekeeping equipment for decades.

AFB symptoms include:

  • Spotty brood pattern with discolored, sunken, or perforated capping. Larvae is caramel to dark brown in color with a foul smelling odor. When suspect cells are sampled with a toothpick or match stick, the larvae form a ropy string >2cm when pulled from the cell.

  • Eventually, dead larvae from AFB will dry and form Scale, found on the lower cell walls.

Reminder: registration of all honeybee colonies is required by state statute and is currently open for the 2020 season- Go to the VAAFM website Apiary page for more information.