The honey bee lives in close contact with her sisters. The bees must be very clean because any disease that enters the hive will quickly spread from bee to bee. In short order, the colony is sick. Some diseases are extremely deadly to the hive. The worst is American Foul Brood or AFB. Untreated, AFB will quickly kill all the hives in an apiary. It will quickly spread to other apiaries in the area. AFB is the bubonic plague of honey bees.
Laws in every state require colony inspections. If a bee is to be sold or is to cross state lines it must have a certificate of health. This is not government run amok, rather state bee inspectors identify and isolate disease that would cripple the commercial beekeeping industry.
Well, the bee inspectors came to see us today. For several hours, they went through our hives making sure they are healthy. Thankfully, Hunter Apiaries was given a clean bill of health.