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Cape bee farmers could be crippled by foul brood outbreak

The South African Bee Industry Association says the honey industry has been hit hard by an outbreak of...

Buzzing bees. Picture; stock.xchng

The South African Bee Industry Association says the honey industry has been hit hard by an outbreak of American foul brood.

In the last two months many Western Cape farmers have been plagued by the deadly disease.

As a result beekeepers have had to destroy a number of infected hives.

The organisation’s John Moodie says farmers stand to lose millions if the problem is not addressed soon.

He says the disease can only be transmitted among bees and not humans.

“It’s a disease which we’ve been trying to keep out of South Africa. It is spread by spores and the spores are particularly resilient to heat. We are concerned that it is going to spread so we’re trying to bring in measures to contain it and to manage it as best we can.”

Moodie says the livelihood of many farmers could be affected.