This section has been created with the beekeeper in mind and is currently under construction.  It focuses on bee diseases and parasites.  The goal is to make it easy for you, the beekeeper, to find the necessary diagnostic information to make an informed decision on what may be affecting the health of your hive.  This is a basic guide only.  There is a boatload of information out on the web.  You will need to assess the data and make the best management decision you can with that data.  Research, decide, act and evaluate.

Brood Diseases:

American Foulbrood (AFB)

American Foulbrood is probably the most feared of all bee diseases.  American Foulbrood is highly contagious and is spread through the use of contaminated equipment and through robbing of the diseased hive by other bees.  It is caused by the Bacillus larvae bacteria.  The bacteria feeds on the larva and kills them in their pre-pupal and pupal stages.  American Foulbrood has a distinct odor.  Most beekeepers will notice the odor before they will notice the rest of the symptoms.

Here is a link to the USDA/ARS Bee site:  http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=2882.  Here is a short youtube video on determining if you have American Foulbrood in your hive:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Aa56jut7Y.  Not into videos?  Here is a nice .pdf.  And another.

If you have confirmed that you have American Foulbrood, the classic recommendation has been to burn the hive, bees and all, to prevent further transmission to other healthy colonies.  There are other options, however.   Here are some videos and links to American Foulbrood treatments.

Both European and American Foulbrood Treatment Options by Jamie Ellis, University of Florida

Chemical Treatment Options by Dr. Eric Mussen, UC Davis

Moving an Infected Colony to Eliminate AFB by Tim Schuler, NJ Department of Agriculture

European Foulbrood (EFB)

European Foulbrood is less virulent than American Foulbrood as EFB does not create spores and spores can last for decades!  It, too, is caused by a bacteria, Melissococcus pluton, but it only affects young, uncapped larva and, as a result, is quite a bit easier to diagnose.  Instead of the brood being pearly white and glistening, the brood is discolored and dry-looking.  As you may expect, there is an odor associated with EFB also.  Here is a diagnostic video from Dr. Jamie Ellis of the University of Florida.  Here is a link to some diagnostic images for reference.

Chemical treatment of EFB is the same as AFB.  Chemical Treatment Options by Dr. Eric Mussen, UC Davis

Requeening is generally helpful also.

Chalkbrood

Chalkbrood is a brood disease caused by a fungus, Ascophaera apis.  Chalkbrood produces bee larva “mummies” which you can see on the bottom board of a colony.  These mummies are whitish in color resembling pieces of chalk which is how it acquired its name.  Here is a picture of a heavy infestation of chalkbrood.  Typically, in CO, chalkbrood is seen in the spring.  It is rarely fatal.  A colony entering into spring will generally “fix” the problem by merely growing and heading into larger populations for summer.  The most common “treatment” is to requeen.

There are more brood diseases out there than these three–but these represent the most common diseases found here.

Adult Issues:

Varroa Mite (Varroa destructor)

It is hard to imagine beekeeping before Varroa but a mere 30 years ago, this was the case!  Varroa destructor is aptly named and is the cause of a tremendous percentage of colony losses annually.  Here is a link to a PDG (pretty darn good) description of Varroa from, not surprisingly, the University of Florida.  Oh, if only we had this type of support from our universities here in Colorado! Too busy working on wheat, I guess.

There are a lot of different ways to manage Varroa.  You can manage it with in-hive miticides or you can manage it with non-chemical alternatives or any combination in between.  No matter what treatment method you use, you need to know whether you need to treat at all first.  There are 2 methods of determining the Varroa load in your bee hive:  alcohol wash and powdered sugar roll.

Links:

http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/apiculture/pdfs/2.03%20copy.pdf

http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/disorders/honey-bee-parasites.html

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/varroa-management/

 

 

 

 


Sponsors

project apis m

Upcoming Events

May
21
Thu
8:30 am Bee Guardianship Hive Doctor Cer...
Bee Guardianship Hive Doctor Cer...
May 21 @ 8:30 am – May 26 @ 12:30 pm
May 21-26 June 4-11 Boulder, CO Choose any dates that fit your schedule, 16 days to choose from. Intensives limited to 4 people per session. Out of town folks, we have recommendations for lodging and[...]
May
30
Sat
4:00 pm Celebrate Boulder Being a Bee Sa...
Celebrate Boulder Being a Bee Sa...
May 30 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Bee Safe Boulder invites you to attend a celebration in honor of Boulder becoming a bee safe city! Saturday, May 30th 4-6pm 3373 4th St, North Boulder Live Music • Hors d’oeuvres • Wine •[...]
Jun
3
Wed
6:30 pm SouthEast Beekeepers Club Monthl... @ North Pinery Firehouse
SouthEast Beekeepers Club Monthl... @ North Pinery Firehouse
Jun 3 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The SouthEast Beekeepers Club is a fairly unstructured group of beekeeping people who get together once a month to share information, ask questions, get news, etc. Other than having a pot luck prior to and[...]
7:00 pm Boulder County Beekeepers Meeting @ Lefthand Grange
Boulder County Beekeepers Meeting @ Lefthand Grange
Jun 3 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
BCBA meeting and election scheduled for this Wednesday, April 22nd at 7:00 pm at the Niwot Grange. Our organization has been without meaningful leadership since Miles McGaughey stepped down last year. Philip Bradbury and Tim[...]
Jun
4
Thu
8:30 am Bee Guardianship Hive Doctor Cer...
Bee Guardianship Hive Doctor Cer...
Jun 4 @ 8:30 am – Jun 11 @ 12:30 pm
June 4-11 Boulder, CO Choose any dates that fit your schedule, 16 days to choose from. Intensives limited to 4 people per session. Out of town folks, we have recommendations for lodging and camping accommodations[...]
Jun
6
Sat
9:00 am Beekeeping Seminar w/ Dr. Dewey ... @ Fort Lewis College
Beekeeping Seminar w/ Dr. Dewey ... @ Fort Lewis College
Jun 6 @ 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Seminar details are found in this PDF
9:00 am Class IV: Honeybee Colony Care II @ Growing Gardens Greenhouse
Class IV: Honeybee Colony Care II @ Growing Gardens Greenhouse
Jun 6 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
We will review how to maintain healthy colonies and what this looks like, and discuss how to recognize pests and diseases, and what you can do to support your bees. In the lab we will[...]
Jun
8
Mon
12:30 pm Central Colorado Beekeepers Meeting @ Crest Academy
Central Colorado Beekeepers Meeting @ Crest Academy
Jun 8 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
We meet the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:30 at 12th & G Street at Crest Academy, Salida, Co 81201. See our Facebook group: Central Colorado Beekeepers Association. Ask to join. Thanks and hope[...]
Jun
10
Wed
6:30 pm Brighton Beekeepers Monthly Meeting @ United Power HQ
Brighton Beekeepers Monthly Meeting @ United Power HQ
Jun 10 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
This month’s meeting will be held at the United Power Building on March 11th at 6:30pm. Miles McGaughey will be our guest speaker and will be covering topics relevant to this time of year. Other[...]
7:00 pm Mile Hive Bee Club @ Mercury Café
Mile Hive Bee Club @ Mercury Café
Jun 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Hello Mile Hivers, April is here and we are already to the time for our April meeting. The Mile Hive will be meeting this WEDNESDAY April 8th from 7-9 at the Mercury Café. Many of[...]

View Calendar

Archives