An outbreak of a disease affecting colonies of honeybees, has been found in South Aberdeenshire, the Scottish Government has warned.

American Foulbrood (AFB)was confirmed on Monday following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).

The AFB infected hives have been destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK. There are no risks to public health from AFB and no implications for the quality and safety of honey.

The affected apiaries are located near St Cyrus, South Aberdeenshire and the movement of bees and related equipment into or out of the affected area is prohibited.

Bee farmers and 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

Classic signs of the disease are sunken cappings on cells, which when uncapped reveal dead larvae in various stages of decomposition. The larvae have a caramel like, light to dark brown consistency and when drawn out, the decomposing material strings out rather than snapping off – the roppiness test.

AFB is a notifiable disease under The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Order 2007. It kills off bee larva, is highly contagious and difficult to eradicate. Unlike European Foulbrood (EFB) hives with AFB cannot be treated and must be destroyed.

In order to assist Scottish Government Bee Inspectors to control this and other diseases, beekeepers are urged to register on BeeBase, the national bee database. This will give them access to up-to-date information on the control of AFB and bee related issues.

Beekeepers in the area of this outbreak who are not on BeeBase are requested to register at or send their contact details to