Disease outbreak alarms CQ beekeepers
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.