The following update with map has been circulated by Tom Williamson, chief Bee inspector. Please take the time to read it and help us contain this before further problems arise.
I have had quite a lot of responses to my original email highlighting the disease findings of DARD’s bee inspectorate to date and I am taking this opportunity to provide a brief update to those requesting more information. We have put together the approximate locations of the outbreaks on a map (copy attached) and I hope to have this available on our web pages shortly. This can then be updated a number of times throughout the inspection season for all to have access to.
To date there has been a total 21 apiaries with AFB confirmed, one of which has three beekeepers with confirmed colonies at the one site. There remains 2 apiaries confirmed with EFB, one of these having a colony with AFB confirmed at the same site.
I would caution on placing an overreliance on where the disease is found to decide whether there is a likely to be any risk of infection reaching your bees. While there are pockets of AFB my view is that it is best that every beekeeper actually inspects the brood at the very least in the spring and autumn with the aim of detecting any possible infection early. There is quite a spread of locations which I think is an indication that all should be concerned but trading/moving infected bees, lack of regular inspection, good hygiene practices and a willing/full co-operation with the bee inspectorate are all issues encountered that are worth highlighting.
I hope that this info helps, I am sorry that I have been unable to reply individually but I will try to address some of the remaining individual queries raised over the next few weeks.
Plant Health Inspection Branch – Forest Service
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Carnbane Industrial Estate
Newry, BT35 6EF
Tel: (028) 38892374