Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 14:55 UK

More cases of deadly bee disease in Jersey

The disease kills the bee by multiplying in its gut

Inspectors brought to Jersey after an outbreak of a deadly bee disease was declared in the island have found 26 hives affected by American foulbrood.

The environment minister declared Jersey an infected zone, banning all movement of bees and equipment, when the disease was found in two hives.

National Bee Unit staff were called by the Planning and Environment Department to examine Jersey's 400 hives.

The states said about half of hives so far tested had been infected.

Tests are due to continue over the weekend.

The disease is caused by bacteria which multiply in the bee's gut, eventually killing it, and can only be controlled by destroying affected hives and equipment.

Linda Lowswck, States vet, said: "We have inspected between 40 and 50 hives out of a total of more than 400.

"The infection rate is around 50% so far and five hives have been destroyed.

"This is a very distressing time for the island's beekeepers and we are very grateful for their co-operation."

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