Our office has received reports of American Foulbrood (Paenibacillus larvae) from multiple locations throughout San Mateo County. On October 16, 2019, we received results from an official sample submitted to the USDA Bee Lab which confirmed American Foulbrood.
American Foulbrood (AFB) is a highly contagious and destructive honey bee brood disease for which there is no cure. AFB will substantially weaken and in most cases kill a honey bee colony. Infected hives must be burned and the ashes buried two feet deep to prevent the spread of the disease. AFB spores can remain viable for up to 50 years. Our office is researching options for disposal of AFB infected hives and possible fee exemptions for burning permits. We will continually be updating our website once we have established hive disposal requirements and options.
We are working with the Beekeepers’ Guild to develop a response to protect our beekeeping community from this devastating disease. This will require the cooperation and assistance of local beekeepers in registering hive locations, assisting in the inspection of hives and alerting beekeepers within foraging range of infected hives.
Please check your hives for AFB. If you think you may have it, please call our office at (650) 363-4700 and we will send an apiary inspector out to inspect and help identify symptoms. The inspector may take and submit a sample. There is no fee for this service.
Below is a FAQ for American Foulbrood in San Mateo County. Please click on this document for more information.
For Burn Permit information, please open the Burn Permit Packet below. It includes the Instructions and Forms.
American Foulbrood resources and a YouTube Video:
Symptom guide from Bee Informed: https://beeinformed.org/2013/10/21/american-foulbrood-afb/
USDA Bee Research Lab - American Foulbrood summary: https://www.ars.usda.gov/northeast-area/beltsville-md-barc/beltsville-agricultural-research-center/bee-research-laboratory/docs/american-foulbrood-disease/
Learn to identify American Foulbrood in 90 seconds - YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnfLPfOeyeA