Two new cases of American foulbrood (AFB), a disease affecting colonies of honeybees, have been confirmed in Scotland.

Image: iStock © SumikoPhoto

The first case was found in a hive at a heather site in Glen Isla in Angus, with the source traced to a second apiary in Coupar Angus in Perthshire.

The second apiary contained no live bees, but the bacteria was confirmed in debris on old frames.

The disease was confirmed in Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture laboratories, and both apiaries have been destroyed.

Both also contained European foulbrood. This is a significant development as this disease has largely been confined to the commercial sector.

The bees had been bought from a non-commercial beekeeper. The new owner alerted Scottish Government bee inspectors to his concerns.

Investigations are continuing as to whether this case is linked to an incidence of AFB reported in July near Alyth.

In Scotland so far this year, there have been 60 cases of EFB and five of AFB There are no risks to public health from these diseases and no implications for the quality and safety of honey.

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