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Volume 32, Number 6, November-December 2001
Page(s) 587 - 599
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2001146

Apidologie 32 (2001) 587-599

Influence of the proximity of American foulbrood cases and apicultural management on the prevalence of Paenibacillus larvae spores in Belgian honey

Dirk C. de Graafa, Dominique Vandekerchovea, Wim Dobbelaerea, b, Johan E. Peetersa and Frans J. Jacobsb

a  Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (VAR), Groeselenberg 99, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
b  University of Ghent, Laboratory of Zoophysiology, Krijgslaan 281 S33, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

(Received 21 May 2001; revised 28 August 2001; accepted 12 September 2001)

A survey based on the bacteriological analysis of 1328 honey samples from the harvest in the summer of 1999 yielded 146 samples contaminated with P. larvae spores (11.0% ), ranging from the detection of only a single colony of P. larvae to completely overgrown plates. Risk factor analysis by logistic regression modelling revealed that honey samples collected in the proximity of apiaries with AFB cases from 1998 were at 3-times higher risk of being contaminated compared to other geographic locations (odds ratio = 3.04; P < 0.001). Comb replacement was found to lower the risk (odds ratio = 0.46; P = 0.033) and should be encouraged in beekeeping management. There was also a relation between the positive honey samples collected in 1999 and the cases of AFB in the year 2000 (odds ratio = 2.64; P = 0.009), supporting the value of honey analysis for sanitary control of bee colonies.

Key words: Paenibacillus larvae larvae / American foulbrood / honey / risk factor analysis / prevalence

Correspondence and reprints: Dirk C. de Graaf

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2001