Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

UDAF Inspects Honey Bee Colonies for American Foul Brood

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is conducting a three year apiary (bee and hive) health survey in five counties: Washington, Utah, Salt Lake, Davis and Box Elder. The main goal of the survey is to find out the baseline health of these apiaries. Managed bees are critical to Utah’s tree fruit industry, which is worth an estimated $36,000,000 annually. Inspectors are specifically looking for incidents of American Foul Brood (AFB). It was found in five counties in Utah last year. “We are interested in where this disease is and who might have it, because it is a highly contagious disease,” said Joey Caputo, apiary inspector, UDAF. Of all the brood diseases managed colonies can become afflicted with, American Foul Brood is the most devastating, Caputo said.

Most of our beekeepers in the state are in urban areas and very close to each other. That makes the possibility of AFB becoming pandemic more likely than if the beekeepers in the state were more spread out.