Dis­ease out­break alarms CQ bee­keep­ers

Daily Mercury - - NEWS -

BEE­KEEP­ERS are on high alert af­ter two cases of Amer­i­can foul­brood dis­ease have been con­firmed in Mackay and Mo­ran­bah.

Honey pro­ducer Joanne Kno­bel, of Kno­bel Honey in Cler­mont, has not been af­fected but is dev­as­tated the dis­ease is so close.

“If it is found you have to kill the bees,” she said. “And then you have to burn all your equip­ment. So if we get it, it will de­stroy our busi­ness.

“I can’t bear the thought of hav­ing to kill the bees and I feel sorry for that other (af­fected) bee­keeper.

“The quicker it gets con­trolled, the bet­ter.”

Cen­tral Queens­land Bee­keep­ers As­so­ci­a­tion vice pres­i­dent Paul Marsh, who iden­ti­fied the first case of the dis­ease in the Mackay area, said now was the time for ev­ery bee­keeper, hobby or com­mer­cial, to check their hives in or­der to stop the dis­ease from spread­ing.

He said the dis­ease was com­mon in south-east Queens­land and there had been cases in Townsville, but this was the first case in the CQ re­gion he had wit­nessed.

The dis­ease is spread through honey. It is also pos­si­ble to spread it by sell­ing equip­ment, like bee­keep­ing boxes.

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