Honey bee disease outbreak in Scotland


According to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) the disease, Nosema ceranae, has been confirmed in Scotland for the first time. 

The disease is linked to the dwindling of honey bee colonies and is believed to be widespread in Europe, with a number of cases recorded in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Nosema ceranae is a microsporidial disease affecting honey bees related to the microsporidial disease, Nosema apis – producing dysentery in honey bees and linked to spring losses in Scottish colonies.

Three samples of bees from three different regions of Scotland sent to experts at SASA for analysis tested positive for Nosema ceranae indicating the outbreak of the disease is not confined to a single area.

Although Nosema ceranae has been linked to colony collapse in Spain and some Mediterranean countries, so far it has not provoked nearly as many problems in Northern Europe for beekeepers and is not a notifiable disease under the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Order 2007.

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute advised beekeepers to replace and sterilise their frames to prevent Nosema spore build-up within colonies adding there are no risks to public health wth respect to the quality and safety of honey.