Surveillance and improved control of American foulbrood (AFB) in honey bees in Saskatchewan
The pollination performed by honey bees is estimated to add around $4 billion per year in Canada’s agriculture. Unfortunately, high colony death rates have been repeatedly reported by beekeepers. Infectious diseases (e.g. Varroa, Nosema and American foulbrood [AFB]) are one of the main causes of honey bee mortality. The objective of this project is to perform AFB surveillance in Saskatchewan and establish reliable prognostic reference ranges based on the number of AFB spores in honey samples; these results will enable evidence-based implementation of the control measures for American foulbrood that will result in reduced incidence of AFB disease outbreaks and reduced use of antibiotics in Saskatchewan and Western Canadian apiculture. Consequently, it is anticipated that this project will enhance the quality and value of Canadian hive products and expand new export markets for Canadian honey. In addition, the overall health of honey bee colonies will be improved resulting in more efficient pollination and strong, sustainable agriculture.