Elimination of AFB

IMPORTANT: You have a legal obligation under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to register as a beekeeper. Part of the registration process involves registering your apiaries. (Go to registration form.)


The goal of the American Foulbrood National Pest Management Plan (AFNPMP) is to eliminate American foulbrood in managed colonies (i.e. beehives) in New Zealand. The beekeeping industry is breaking new ground in setting this goal. Elimination of AFB has not been achieved on a national scale before, although there are examples of other animal diseases being eradicated from a country e.g. the eradication of hydatids from New Zealand.

Elimination of AFB is seen as possible in New Zealand both because the country has a relatively small population of honey bee colonies (estimated to be 550,000 including feral colonies), and because importations of additional colonies and other materials capable of carrying AFB are controlled.

Some New Zealand beekeepers have also shown that elimination on a national level is possible. By destroying colonies with AFB instead of using antibiotics, and using management techniques to avoid the spread of the disease to other hives, they have effectively eliminated the disease from their own businesses.

Pupal Tongue roping out

AFB infected larva will rope out 10-30mm before "snapping back"

AFB scale in the cell immediately to the left.