Beekeeping equipment

The role of beekeeping equipment in the spread of AFB

Unless a hive tool or the finger of a bee glove is inserted directly into AFB infected cells (e.g. to perform the ropiness test), it is unlikely that these pieces of equipment will carry sufficiently large numbers of spores to be a major factor in the spread of AFB.

The honey extractor is also unlikely to be a major factor. Infected honey may be transferred between frames during the extracting process, however the amount will be insignificant compared with the amount contained on a wet super coming directly from an AFB infected hive.

Nevertheless, beekeepers should still take precautions to ensure that their gloves, hive tools and extractors are clean, especially after handling an AFB infected hive. This is preferable to a total lack of beekeeping equipment hygiene.

With the exception of hive tools, beekeeping equipment is probably not important in the spread of AFB.