For Honey problems see 'Honey Crop'


What can I do with bad tempered bees

Do not tolerate bad temper, some bees can have their off days but don’t use this as an excuse.  If you frequently go to you bees expecting a fight then you will begin to not enjoy your hobby at all. 

Some signs of bad temper are:


o        Bees pouring out the entrance ready for a fight when you start to manipulate.


o        Veil covered in bees if you breathe at their entrance before manipulation.


o        Following you back to your house or car


o        Tens of stings in your gloves


o        Routinely attacking people beyond 10 metres of their colony even when not disturbed.

The only answer is to replace the queen with one from a gentle stock.  To do this you will first need to find and remove her, this can be a daunting prospect and it is best to get an experienced beekeeper to assist.


My hives have been knocked over, what do I do

Result of Vandalism

In short: Pick them up.  Bees survive in the most unlikely positions for a long time.  If you are unlucky the queen could be killed by frames moving around but that’s uncommon.  Use plenty of smoke as it is difficult to be gentle and the bees will be upset anyway if it has happened within the last 24 hours.  Try and pick up the bits with minimal movement of frames as that’s when bees do get damaged and reassemble in the original location.  If there has been signs of robbing such as lots of rough wax debris and light boxes then feed them.  

Tip: If you are concerned that your hives will be pushed over by vandalism then ratchet tie-down straps around the hives will, as in the photo,  hold the boxes together. Should this occur on an annual basis then you should seriously consider relocation of your apiary.  

Special floors and roofs make this an easier option, see... KISOMF FLOOR design.


How do I stop wasps or other bees from attacking my hives

From mid season onwards when nectar sources are fewer and there are more bees looking then they start to be attracted to the easier option of stealing the honey from their neighbours.  Wasps also begin to take this option when their colonies start to collapse toward the end of summer and the wasp queens leave the colony to hibernate until next year.

You will see robbing bees (and wasps) as they do not fly directly to the hive but zigzag often trying to sneak in by the extreme edges of the entrance.

Some bees are more prone to rob and vulnerable to robbing than others.   To help colonies under attack reduce the entrance width down to about 2-3cm this will be easier for them to defend.   To reduce the entrance use what is known as an entrance block which for most hives is a square section of wood with an entrance small hole or slot.   The UK WBC hive uses two sliding doors that close down the entrance to what you wish.


Someone phones me with a ‘bee’ problem what do I say

Remember that most members of the public cannot differentiate between the honeybee and wasps, bumble-bees or solitary bees.   Tell the caller that there are over 25,000 species of bee and you are a honey beekeeper and know little about the rest, so you need to establish that it is honey bees that are causing the problem. 

Ask questions such as:

Q1) What do they look like?


Yellow & black = wasps


Fat & furry = bumble bees


Q2) Are they spread around a wall or lawn? 


This is usually a trait of solitary bees, which although solitary individuals tend to choose the same location or same time to emerge.

Q3) What are they doing?


i.e Is it a swarm in a cluster = honey bees.  Establish it’s location as this will affect how you might deal with it.  i.e. on a bush at eye level or 10metres up a tall tree.


Flying in and out of...take your pick...chimney, roof, crack in a wall.  Sounds like honey bees if they are not wasps.

The advice you give now depends on what you have ascertained from the above.....


Bumble bees:  

Try and persuade the caller to live with them as they are non-aggressive and under threat.  They will only be resident for that year, and their nest will be abandoned for the winter and not used again next year.  Animals and children should be kept from interfering with the entrance but otherwise they will make good neighbours.   Attempting to move a bumble bee nest usually results in its demise.


Wasps & solitary bees: 

You should advise them to contact a specialist pest control company, it is handy to have such details to hand.   If the nest is accessible then you can advise that there are sprays available from shops that can by sprayed on to the outside of the nest killing the insects inside.  Specialist companies use spays and chemicals that are not available to the general public and are more effective in difficult locations.  With modern litigation it is inadvisable to attempt to remove a wasp nest yourself.


Honey Bees:

You are a beekeeper and every beekeeper has lost a swarm or two, so you should try and help where possible.  If it is impractical for you to attend in person then try and get a local beekeeper (whose bees they may well be) to help.  Your local association may have a swarm coordinator or provide you with a list of members.   If you attend in person do not put yourself at risk, swarms already in a chimney or an inaccessible void cannot be dealt with by an inexperienced beekeeper so take advice.

What are the Issues with bees on an Allotment


See Starting Up - 'Can I keep Bees on my Allotment?'





Why do my bees want to swarm

A swarm is the natural way for bees to multiply and produce new colonies.  It is normally the culmination of queen rearing in the early summer.  

This FAQ does not cover bee biology & behavior in detail but its sister FAQ for the general reader does so.... Click here to launch to the Honey Bee FAQ in a new window.


How do I stop my bees from wanting to swarm

All bees will swarm let’s face it, it’s the bees idea of being a success, but some are more prone than others the key points to ‘reduce’ the swarming instinct are as follows:

Most importantly: Do not breed from bees that are from unknown swarms or show a strong tendency to swarm. This nearly always selects bees that will do the same thing next year.  See Maintenance: 'How do I breed better bees simply’.


Give them space ahead of the bee’s immediate requirements.  That is adding additional supers well before the bees have fully filled the present ones.  If necessary add an additional brood box if the queen’s running short of space to lay eggs.  Removing brood to give space only is not a good idea as it weakens a strong colony and it is strong colonies that produce disproportionately more honey.


Keep them busy:  By replacing up to 30% of your comb each year with foundation gives the young bees work to do and helps reduce the swarm urge.


Make them think they have already swarmed:  Creating an artificial swarm, this simulates what the bees want to do anyway and is a useful tool to fool the bees when early signs of queen cells are found.  It also leads to having two colonies ,that can be recombined after the swarming season, therefore is suitable for an expanding beekeeper.  Once the bees have swarmed or at least ‘think’ they have swarmed they will* not swarm again that year.  *Remember: Bees do nothing invariably but it’s a near certainty.


How do I make an artificial swarm

This is a method that makes the bees 'think' that they have swarmed thus preventing them from swarming for real.  The principle is to leave the old queen with the flying bees, similar to a swarm.  

To do this, follow these simple steps:  Warning: you need spare equipment.

1.     Move the hive two metres or more from its present site.  If you can only move the hive less than four metres then rotate the whole hive 180° so its entrance is facing a different direction. 

Tip: If you do not wish to expand i.e. end up with two colonies permanently then only move them two metres apart as it makes things easier when you recombine them.

2.     Place a new hive with drawn or undrawn frames on the old site.

3.     Move the queen to the new hive.  Move her with the frame she is found on and adjacent frame, cutting off any queen cells on these frames.   She is placed in the new hive.

4.     Cut down any Queen cells in the original hive leaving one open cell.

5.     Spread the supers between the hives.  If you do not have sufficient supers with stores (about 25% full) to put on top of each half hive then feed the bees instead.

Now what happens?  Well the flying bees fly out on normal duties not realising their hive has moved and return to their old position and meet their queen.  So, with all the flying bees and queen ending up in a new hive with lots of work to be done makes them think they have swarmed.   The old hive will raise emergency queens from young larvae or queens from queen cells if you have left them as in (4) above.  Leave them for four weeks then and check for eggs.  Do not be tempted to look in sooner.

Now you have two hives, if you do not wish to expand then choose which queen you wish to keep, probably the new one if their temper is ok you can recombine the hives after a couple of weeks.  See Maintenance: 'How do I combine two hives into one (Uniting)'.

The ‘Power of Two Trap’ 

As a new beekeeper it is easy to expand, one hive becoming two, but beware, a couple seasons later two become four, four becomes eight etc, then you will find yourself scratching around for equipment.  Bees multiply easily; the real skill is to keep down to the number of hives that suits you and your hobby will remain enjoyable.

Think: Quality not Quantity


What do I do if I see a swarm queen cell

Firstly don’t panic, swarming is just the bee’s idea of being a success.  You need to make some sort of plan and to do that you need to consider a few things first. 

The paragraph above "How do I stop my bees from wanting to swarm" is one method of swarm prevention and can also be used to stop the bees getting into the swarm mood in the first place. 

Important: Once they have decided that swarming is what they want to do it is futile trying to stop them by just cutting out queen cells.  The bees will continue to build them until you miss just one and then the hive will swarm.  You must intervene in a manner that matches what the bees really want to do i.e. multiply.  

The Artificial Swarm:

The colony can be considered to have three components, 

  1. The Queen

  2. The brood & young bees

  3. The older flying bees

Separating any one component will prevent the main (Prime) Swarm and separating the queen with the older bees leaving the brood and young bees with a queen cell is even better as this approximates to a natural swarm.  This method is called an Artificial Swarm, and is described above.

Queen Removal:  A second method that is popular with many beekeepers is to simply remove the queen and leave one open queen cell.  Keep the original queen safe in a small nucleus hive until the new queen is seen to laying normally.  This should be around 4 weeks from being an egg.  Do not open brood chamber again until this time has passed and for a beginner this will seem to be a very long time indeed.  The flow chart below uses this method.

To download a PDF printable version click here SWARM PREVENTION FLOW CHART .

*Supersedure is where the bees are going to make a new queen without swarming, it usually happens mid summer or later and is a very desirable trait.


I can't find the Queen what can I do (to prevent swarming)

Both the above methods require you to finding the queen and for a new beekeeper this can seem daunting, should you fail try this method.

It relies on facts that:

A)    If you put all of the bees into a box then the queen must be with them and

B)    Young bees are attracted to brood

Follow the following sequence...

1 Move the original hive to one side (box 1).
2 Put a new floor and a new brood box (box 2) containing a full compliment of frames of foundation or comb on the original site.
3 Select one frame with one good open queen cell then brush (not shake) the bees off this frame and place it in the middle the original box 1.  (tip: mark it with a pin)
4 Take one frame with brood preferably unsealed and no queen cells (remove any if necessary) and place it in the centre of new box 2 in the middle of all the 'new' frames.  (This is to keep the bees from abandoning the hive.)
5 Shake all the bees (including the elusive queen) into the new box 2.
6 Remove all other queen cells on each comb except the selected one.
7 Finally build the hive back together on it's original location to look like this...

8 After 24 hours all the nurse bees will have returned to the brood in the old upper box 1 and the queen will be in the lower box (somewhere :-).
9 The original upper brood box 1 can then be moved to one side to form a new colony.
10 After 4 days inspect both colonies for emergency queen cells, remove if found.
11 Do not disturb box 1 again for four weeks as it will be raising and mating it's new queen.

CLICK HERE to download a printable PDF version



What do I do if they have already swarmed


If the bees have swarmed and there are still queen cells in the colony you need cut them off except two preferably unsealed cells that are close together.  Then rebuild the colony and leave for three weeks and check that the colony is now queen right by looking for eggs and young larvae.  Choosing unsealed cells ensures that there is actually a larva in the cell as some sealed queen cells can be empty.


How do I catch a swarm

If safe to do so i.e. the swarm is within easy reach, typically hanging from the branch of a low bush or tree.  Start by putting a brood box with a floor underneath the swarm with some old comb, old nasty comb is fine but it should have no eggs or larvae present.  It may be easier if you carefully cut the branch that the swarm is hanging from and hold it directly over the box.  With one clean move, shake the bees into the box and promptly cover with a crown board.  

  The bees will quickly locate the open entrance and within a few minutes you will see bees fanning with their bottoms in the air distributing their scent from a organ called a ‘Nasanov Gland’, this is like a beacon to help the stragglers find the colony and queen.  In the evening the entrance can be blocked with a piece of foam rubber and the floor/brood box and crown board can be secured with ratchet luggage strap and moved to a new location.

This description is simplified and ideal, in practice you might find that the swarm is inaccessible or at least difficult to reach, such as in the middle of a bush or in a chimney.  Every situation is different and calls on you as the beekeeper to use your initiative especially if spare equipment is unavailable, cardboard boxes can be used as a temporary swarm box but never attempt to move a swarm without a smoker and bee suit.  


What do I do with a swarm once caught

Swarms are keen to make wax comb and will draw out foundation quickly especially if you feed them sugar syrup.  If the weather is unsuitable for the bees to forage then feed them anyway.  Add new foundation and remove most of the old comb that the bees have not yet used.  The swarm should be treated for Varroa mites as all the mites are on the bee’s body and treatment at this time is very effective.  Once the bees have sealed brood the mites have somewhere to hide from most Varroa treatments so treat promptly.

Tip:    Some swarms will decide to abscond from their new home within the first few days even hours of you hiving them.  To persuade them to stay put a frame of eggs from another hive in the swarms new home as soon as you can.

Swarms should be kept separate from your bees for 3-4 weeks to allow you spot any disease that the bees might be carrying preferably on another site as bees do drift between hives. 

 You need to decide what you are going to do with them:

  1. Keep them as a new colony i.e. you are expanding (Beware of the Power of Two Trap above)

Within a few days the bees will have a couple of frames of brood under way and you will be confident that they are going to stay; it is now safe to re-queen them.  This is usually a good idea as these bees are likely to be from a strain that swarm easily and this should not be encouraged.  

  1. Strengthen an existing colony.

Do not try to strengthen a colony that is weak as there could be underlying problems there.  It is best to strengthen strong colonies into very strong colonies as they are the ones that will really produce a lot of honey.   

Start by de-queening the swarm, and the easiest and quickest way to combine bees is to use a toilet air freshener spray and spray both colonies between each frame.  Shake the swarm into the hive to be strengthened.  Remember that if the swarm has been kept less than a couple of miles away some bees will return to that site.  


What do I do if I think my hive is queenless

Most beginners convince themselves that their hive is queenless at some point and usually they are wrong.  Queens can stop laying for several weeks in the summer mostly this is a result of local weather conditions.  But you want to test that there is a queen, right?  Ok you need to add a brood frame containing eggs, if the colony has a queen nothing will happen, if not within a couple of days they will start making ‘emergency queens’ from these eggs or more precisely young larvae.   If this happens cut them all off except two that are close together, leave them alone for four weeks before checking again.


What is a drone laying queen

The queen hold sperm from her mating flights and this sperm is slowly used up through the life of the queen.  The female worker is the result of a queens egg fertilised with a sperm and the drone bee is from an unfertilised egg, therefore when the sperm runs out the result is a comb full of small drones instead of workers.  These drones cell can be identified by their dome capping.  The queen is finished and must be replaced; she may not be very old but was poorly mated.


What causes laying workers and what do I do

If a hive becomes queenless for a prolonged period one or more workers start to behave as queens.  They have not been mated so can only produce unfertilised drone brood.  They also do not have a long body or the correct behaviour of a queen and multiple eggs can be seen in each cell mostly attached to the side walls.  But beware newly mated queens can also produce signs like this until they get more experienced.  

A laying worker colony will not readily accept a new queen so drastic measures are called for.  Shake all the bees to the ground outside a strong colony more than two metres from the original.  The flying bees will return, the young bees will beg their way into the strong colony and the problem laying workers as they have not flown are lost and cannot return to the colony.   Introduce a new mated queen and leave them alone.  


What diseases can my bees catch   

All bees are at some risk of catching something.    Note that Varroa (see next) is technically not a disease but a parasite.  The most serious two diseases are called American & European Foul Brood (AFB & EFB).  These are notifiable to the National Bee Unit and will be dealt with by the local bee inspector, often by destroying the bees.  Fortunately AFB & EFB are rare occurrences with many beekeepers never experiencing a problem at all.

AFB: is a disease detectable After (AFB) the brood is sealed; it is caused by a spore forming bacteria.  The brood pattern is scattered with the wax cappings sunken and perforated.  The larvae have a ropey texture which dries to a spore laden black scale which the bees find difficult to remove.  There can be a glue-like smell from the colony.  The dry spores remain a source of re-infection for decades.  Therefore un-sterilised second-hand equipment can introduce AFB into an apiary.  

Important: Before using second hand equipment from an unknown source it must first  be sterilised by using a blow lamp flame to scorch all internal surfaces especially the awkward corners and joints.  Best not to use second hand frames at all from unknown sources, it is not worth the risk; burn them.

EFB: is a disease that can be detected bEfore (EFB) the larvae are sealed caused by non-spore forming bacteria.  It also has a scattered brood pattern with some sunken and discoloured cappings.  The difference from AFB is that uncapped dead larvae lie in unnatural twisted positions with infected live larvae having a yellowish appearance and their digestive track (trachea) visible as a white  hair line.  The bees can remove the dead larvae and evidence making EFB sometimes difficult to diagnose in the field.

Nosema:  A disease endemic in most bee hives with symptoms of dysentery brought on by stress.  It is caused by a micro organism that lives in the gut of the bee if suspected send a sample to the CSL National Bee Unit (small charge).   This disease can be treated with an antibiotic called Fumidil B, the National Bee Unit will also offer up to date advice as appropriate.

Acarine:        This is a mite (Acarapis Woodi) also known as Tracheal Mites that lives in the tracheal breathing tubes of the bee, the symptoms are bees crawling near the entrance  unable to fly and behaving listlessly.  

Chalk Brood: The larvae is dead with a hard chalky appearance, this is caused by a fungus.  It is seldom serious and if it starts to become a problem changing the queen can eliminate it  

Bee diseases- detailed advice 

For More Information on on the above and more bee diseases, including how to recognise and deal with them.  CLICK HERE  to download a 1.6MB pdf version of the excellent National Bee Units/CSL advice leaflet (2007 version):

"Foul  Brood Disease of Honey Bees: Recognition & Control"


How do I simply monitor and manage Varroa

Varroa is a parasitic mite which is a pest but not actually a disease, however it does make bees more susceptible to other diseases.  

It has been shown that colonies of bees with mite populations above 2500 are likely to succumb to viral infection whilst those with lesser mite populations are more able to survive.   The current recommendation from the CSL National Bee Unit is to try and keep the population below 1000.   As over-treatment with acaricides will lead to mite resistance, not withstanding the costs, it makes sense to treat only when required.  It is, therefore, necessary to estimate the number of mites present in a colony.  

Techniques to do this have evolved over the past few years and it is recommended that you check on the NBU web site the for the latest information.   

The National Bee Unit have publication (2005) called Managing Varroa that is well worth downloading.

Click here to download a pdf version (1.7MB)

There is also a very good advice leaflet "Control of Varroa Guide" (2004) from New Zealand. 

Click here to down load a pdf version (680kB)

Some of the most promising treatments are based on organic acids such as oxalic acid by dribbling or spraying onto the frames.


In the UK mites are becoming resistant to the easy chemical treatments used over the past ten years and now Varroa control should involve a range of methods including 'traditional' chemical treatments, see Integrated Pest Management below for details.

Here are two ways to estimate Varroa infestation.  

1) By natural mite drop: Natural mite mortality (not using an acaricide which would give false readings) can be determined by using a Varroa floor, a sticky insert or a grill protected tray. Remove the floor after 7 days and count the number of mites to obtain a daily average.  

The number of mites in the colony can be calculated as follows:  

Approximate number of mites in colony =...
May to August: Mite drop per day x 30
April & Sept:  Mite drop per day x 100

2) By uncapping: During April to October this may be done as follows: Uncap approximately 100 sealed drone cells with a fork, lifting out the drone pupae. Turn them upside down. The mites will show on the abdominal segments. Count the number of drone pupae infested and calculate the number of mites in the colony as follows:-

Once the number of mites has been estimated, the graph can be used to determine how long the colony can be left before treatment.  

The data above is approximate and biased in favour of the bees. It is important to recognise that infestation and re-infestation can cause a rapid rise in mite population and ideally the test should be done every month during the active season (i.e. summer months).  

If the number of mites in the colony is below 2000 at the end of October, no treatment should be required until spring.

Remember that 2500 mites in the colony requires treatment immediately - no matter what time of year and whether or not there are supers on the hive.



What does Integrated Pest Management (IPM) mean

IPM is an all encompassing title for multiple and focused methods of combating a pest, in the case of bees this pest is Varroa.  It does not necessarily mean avoiding pesticides altogether, but hard chemical treatments are kept to a minimum and are only one method under the umbrella of the IPM strategy.   IPM is not unique to beekeeping and is a title coined in the 1950's when it first related to other agricultural pests.

Apistan, Bavarol & Apiguard are the only approved pesticide Varroa treatments in the UK without applying special import certificate (see below), the first two are based on a family of chemicals called pyrethroids and Apiguard being Thymol based.  There are now pyrethroid resistant strains of the Varroa mites in the UK so we must learn to use alternative techniques to keep on top of this pest.  The pyrethroid pesticide route was always a short term fix as resistance will invariably crop up and the IPM future means using a variety of methods preferably without using pesticides at all.

As the Thymol products are 'natural', before Apiguard was formally approved as a pesticide it was referred to by its makers as a  'Non-medicinal curative substance for honeybees', this allowed beekeepers to use it as one would a herbal remedy.  This game is still being played by other so called 'natural' product manufactures.  It should be pointed out that these treatments are usually statistically more toxic to to your bees than 'hard' chemical pyrethroid treatments. 

The following are options for IPM but not all are available to the average beekeeper and some are still at the concept stage and are here to illustrate what may be the future of Varroa control.


Mechanical methods: Using drone trapping techniques.  Varroa favours breeding within the cells of the longer to mature male drones as this better suits the Varroa's breeding cycle.  Deliberately placing frames of drone foundation effectively lures a high percentage of the female mites to only lay in these cells which are then removed before the Varroa (and the drones) emerge.  There are mechanical traps being developed that are as yet to prove their effectiveness and the use of a vented Varroa floor is known to directly assist, as live Varroa mites following through this mesh perish.


Environmental methods: Creating abnormal conditions such as excessive heat, humidity, light & sound that the bees will 'survive' and the Varroa do not, or at least are stunned and fall through & out the ventilated floor.  These and acid treatments are mostly fighting Varroa by way of their body mass being a fraction of the bees.


Soft chemical treatments: The use of chemicals that are recognised as occurring naturally but not necessary within the bee colony.  Treatments such as Thymol (trade names Apiguard and Exomite) and lactic, formic & oxalic  acids come into this category.   See Below.


Hard chemical treatments:  In the UK as already discussed this means one of the two approved pyrethroid pesticides either Apistan & Bavarol which Varroa is already becoming resistant too.


Genetics:  The Holy Grail, breeding bees that show a natural resistance.  Many people are trying, watch this space.


Biological methods: Research is ongoing into the use of other species which are pathogens of Varroa to combat them.  This coupled with Genetics may well be the future of long term Varroa control.


What do I need to do to be legal when treating bees

With Pyrethroid treatments (see Hard chemical treatments above) loosing effectiveness within their apiaries many beekeepers have decided to turn to the use of Organic Acids and other products used within Europe.    Beekeepers have been concerned whether it is legal to use these treatments and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) have (2006) confirmed their stance on the use of Organic Acids for Varroa Control as follows...

Organic Acids – Oxalic, Lactic, Formic:

It is legal to use Organic Acids for Varroa Control provided that you obtain a Veterinary Prescription from your local vet issued under what is known as the “Veterinary Cascade Scheme”.  Veterinary Prescriptions are free (by law) but you may be charged an administration fee usually £10.00 (2007). The Veterinary Surgeon will want to know all the relevant details, as they are not trained in apiculture. A letter template has been prepared by the National Bee Unit for you to give to vets. Click here for a copy.

Other Varroa Treatments approved within the EU (Like Apivar Strips):

Again these can legally be used – provided that they are obtained through your veterinary surgeon using a special import certificate and prescription (Cost £15.00 {2007}).

Standard UK Approved Varroa Treatments (Apistan, Bayvarol and Apiguard):

There is no change to these medicines they remain within the AVM-GSL category which means Animal Veterinary Medicine General Sales List.

Treatment record keeping is now a legal requirement...

Bees are now (2006) legally classed as ‘Food Producing Animals’ and as such the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) have stated that to remain within the law beekeepers must complete Animal Medicines Records in the same way that all other farmers and livestock keepers do, and the records should be available for inspection by VMD Officers, and archived for 5 years. 

See Maintenance - Should I Keep Records?


Detailed Advice on Oxalic Acid Treatment

The following documents are offered here to assist you in using Oxalic Acid as a treatment for Varroa.

Pay particular close attention to all safety advice please.

*UK Central Science Laboratory (CSL) Organic Acid treatment advise

Safety Sheet for Oxalic Acid

Canadian Advice

*Note that 1:1 syrup means by weight i.e. 1Kg sugar to 1ltr of water.


What Legal Responsibilities do Beekeepers Have


The Bee Diseases Control Order 1982 (recently replaced by the Bee Diseases and Pests Control Order 2006) obliges beekeepers to:


Provide the information and facilities that a bee inspector may require to carry out their work, including details of the number and whereabouts of all colonies owned or managed.


Report any suspected case of American foul brood, European foul brood to the NBU as soon as is possible.


Not move any bees, hives, or appliances from a place where bees with suspected foul brood disease are kept until a sample sent to the NBU has been examined and report stating that no foul brood disease is present, or until the bees have been examined by a CSL Bee Inspector who has confirmed that he is satisfied that no foul brood disease is present.


Destroy or treat with antibiotic a colony confirmed to be infected with foul brood under the supervision of a CSL bee inspector within 10 days of diagnosis. Not remove honey or bee products from any colony treated with antibiotic within 6 months of treatment. Not treat bees with any substance that may disguise the presence of American foul brood or European foul brood.


What Legal Powers do CSL Bee Inspectors Have

CSL Bee Inspectors are appointed as authorised persons under the Bees Act 1980, the Bee Diseases Control Order 1982 (recently replaced by the Bee Diseases and Pests Control Order 2006) and the Animal and Animal products (Import and Export) regulations.

This gives them authority to:


Enter premises where it is believed bees, hives, appliances and bee products are kept.


Examine these items and to take samples of them in order to see that they are free from infection.


Mark any hive or appliance for identification purposes


Destroy colonies infected with American foul brood or European foulbrood


Treat colonies infected with European foulbrood with antibiotic