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How to spot European foulbrood

Do you suspect that your bees may have European Foul Brood (EFB)? Do you know how to recognise the signs of foulbrood disease, and can you distinguish between EFB and American Foul Brood (AFB)? European Foul Brood is a serious and notifiable infection, which you must report to the National Bee Unit. Some areas of the BeeBase website that may help you spot key EFB symptoms include:

  • European Foul Brood (EFB): a summary of the characteristics of EFB, covering what happens if your bees are diagnosed with European Foul Brood.
  • Disease incidence maps: live information about the location of confirmed cases of European Foul Brood in England and Wales, so that you can see if EFB is in your beekeeping area.
  • Advisory leaflets and training manuals: including publications on Foul Brood Disease of Honey Bees. There are also several Fact Sheets relevant to the management of European Foul Brood, including: 'Shook Swarm', 'Care of Colonies after Shook Swarm', 'OTC Treatments', and 'EFB Control', all of which you can download free of charge.
  • Image Gallery: you can find useful pictures of the symptoms of European Foul Brood disease here.
  • The Statutory Apiary Inspections Programme: this explains how the NBU monitors, manages and treats EFB in England and Wales.
  • What to do if you suspect that your honey bees have European Foul Brood (EFB): if you are a beekeeper in England or Wales, please contact the NBU. Alternatively, if you are a beekeeper in Scotland, you must use the following contact details.
  • Bees & the Law: this page gives details of the key legislation that you need to know about as a beekeeper and your obligations if you do discover European Foul Brood.

European Foulbrood (EFB) infection