Restrictions still in place

EVEN though the American foulbrood ban on Nabala has been lifted, restrictions are still in place.

Northern Beekeepers Association president Chuck McKay said beekeepers intending to move farming equipment and honey between farms needed to seek the permission of the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji.

Mr McKay said the disease outbreak among bee farms in 2015 was swiftly controlled by the Ministry of Agriculture and BAF then.

“They had eradicated it and the area has been declared safe with the ban of transporting honey into and out of the area lifted now,” he said.

“However, there are still some restrictions in place and this includes the transfer of bee farming equipment and honey.

“Those intending to move need to get clearance from BAF because it is part of their strategies to stop the possible spread of the disease.

“This is important for other bee farms in the region too.”

Mr McKay said this was one of the reasons the association was urging beekeepers in the North to get training and mentoring from professional farmers.

“Diseases such as the American foulbrood have very specific symptoms and it would be very hard for farmers to detect them unless they have gone through training,” he said.

“Two major symptoms are notably a bad smell while the honey produced by bees may have a brown stringy consistency.

“It is only through training that a farmer can identify these diseases.”

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