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Hygiene

With the recent outbreak of European Foul Brood (EFB) in east Scotland the following 10 Rules for Foul Brood Control are worth highlighting and adhering to.

1. Make sure you are familiar with the signs and causes of foul brood and other brood disorders.
2. Inspect your colonies at the very least every spring and autumn, specifically to check for brood disease. If you are unsure, seek expert advice.
3. Never transfer combs between colonies, or divide colonies, without first checking for signs of brood disease.
4. Never bring colonies, combs or equipment into the apiary unless you are sure that they come from a disease-free source.
5. Never buy old combs. Always sterilise second-hand hives by thoroughly scorching them with a blow lamp before use.
6. Control robbing in the apiary. Never leave combs or honey exposed to robbing bees. Never feed honey from another source.
7. If a colony of bees dies out at any time, seal the hive to prevent the remaining stores being robbed out, pending examination of the brood combs for signs of disease.
8. If any colony is not thriving, and the reason is not already known, examine the brood for signs of disease.
9. Be suspicious of stray swarms. Hive them on foundation rather than drawn comb, keep them isolated from the rest of the apiary as the colony expands and inspect them for disease once they have become established.
10. Regularly and systematically replace old brood combs in the apiary by melting them down and replacing them with frames fitted with foundation.

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