AFB is caused by a spore-forming bacterium and it will kill a hive. It comes into the hive from nearby colony through bees either drifting or robbing and beekeepers through infected beekeeping tools/equipment and movement of infected combs. Infection starts when spores on the nurse bee’s mouthparts are spread to larvae when feeding the developing brood. These spores start germinating in the larvae’s gut and invading its body through the gut wall, eventually killing it at the pre-pupal or pupal stage.
All hives with AFB must be destroyed by burning.
We recommend you do an AFB course run by American Foulbrood National Pest Management Plan (AFNPMP), even if you use a Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement (DECA) inspector for your annual and legally required AFB hive inspections. Here is a link to their courses.
We recommend you read ‘Elimination of American Foulbrood Disease without the use of drugs’ by Mark Goodwin. This book is available from our library.