A TEAM from the Ministry of Agriculture's department of Animal Health and Production spent the past two weeks identifying bee farms in Ba affected by the American Foulbrood (AFB) disease.
Director Tomasi Tunabuna confirmed the team was surveying the affected farms.
"The team has been able to identify a number of affected farms in the Ba district," he said.
"We have a strategy in place for the removal of infected hives.
"The team has been doing these surveys and we should be able to cover all of the suspected areas in the next two weeks."
Mr Tunabuna said the government would assist affected farmers. "We are also trying to assist those who have been affected by the removal of the beehives.
"We help them find ways to help them recover from the losses they incurred during the removal of their beehives."
The director said a hive infected with AFB was a hazard to all hives in surrounding areas for a distance of about two kilometres.
"Burning and burial of infected hives are the most effective ways of removing this hazard.
"If discovered early, a farmer may only lose one or two hives but if left alone he may lose all of them and perhaps spread the disease to neighbouring farms."
Mr Tunabuna said the bacteria killed honey bee larvae in brood cells.
"Typically, in infected hives, the colony has a mottled look due to empty cells. There may be a typical smell and the brood has a characteristically slimy or ropey appearance. AFB is spread by bacterial spores formed in infected larvae which are very resistant and survive many years.
"The disease is spread by transfer of wax of queens in exchange of combs, by contaminated honey or contaminated equipment and is often spread by the bees themselves when they rob honey from infected hives."