Beekeepers appeal for public awareness of honey bee disease     20 May 2016

The Airedale Beekeepers Association (ABKA) is once again asking local people to be aware of the importance of ‘honey hygiene’ after three new incidences of the highly infectious honey bee disease American Foulbrood (AFB) were reported this spring in the Micklethwaite area.

AFB is a bacterial disease which is spread by bees coming into contact with honey products, usually imported ones.  Although it doesn’t affect the quality of honey and presents absolutely no risk to human health, it kills bee larvae in large quantities and requires the immediate destruction of affected hives to prevent further spread.

Sue Chatfield, chair of the Airedale Beekeepers Association (ABKA), commented, “AFB is a devastating disease for honey bees and one which is so serious that the Government Bee Inspector will impose quarantine and require all affected colonies to be destroyed. This spring there have so far been three cases in Micklethwaite, hopefully swift action will prevent any further spread.”

The public can help by being aware of the potential for AFB to spread through bees coming into contact with commercial honey products.

Sue Chatfield adds, “Bees are highly attracted to the smell of honey – even indoors – and people can help by ensuring that they don’t leave any honey uncovered, particularly during warm weather.”


Interested in taking up beekeeping?                                    22 February 2016
For anyone interested in taking up the fascinating hobby of beekeeping, Airedale Beekeepers’ Association (ABKA) will run its annual spring training course for beginners, starting in March 2016 in Keighley. The course consists of six 2 hour lessons at East Riddlesden Hall plus practical hands-on experience at ABKA’s teaching apiary in the Aire Valley. Read more...

Invest in the bees this Christmas                                                       15 December 2015
Airedale Beekeepers Association (ABKA) has launched two new beekeeping gift vouchers. Ideal Christmas presents, they offer either a six week Beginners Course in beekeeping or a one to one ‘Taster’ course. Read more...

Local beekeepers ask for community help to contain honey bee disease
5 May 2015
Beekeepers in the Aire Valley have asked local people to be aware of the importance of ‘honey hygiene’ after two incidences of a honey bee disease called American Foulbrood (AFB) were diagnosed in the Keighley area in April. Read more...