Diagnosis and Treatment of Apiary Diseases Essay


This paper covers the diagnosing and intervention of Apiary diseases and plagues. There are two bacterial diseases ( American foul brood, European foul brood ) , two viral diseases ( Sac brood, Acute bee Paralysis ) , two fungous diseases ( Nosema, Chalk brood ) , and two plagues ( Varroa mite, Tracheal touch ) covered in this study.


Honeybees are an indispensable portion of the pollenation rhythm of workss and trees. Over the last 20 old ages the Numberss of Apis mellifera settlements have been diminishing at an dismaying rate ; this lessening is chiefly caused by uncontrolled bee diseases and plagues. A secondary ground for the lessening is the low figure of new apiarists. The people working in the Beekeeping industry are aging, and younger people are non come ining the industry because of the legion diseases and plagues that plague Apis melliferas.

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Get downing apiarists have few resources to utilize in naming and handling Apis mellifera diseases. Most books are designed for the advanced or commercial apiarist, heavy with proficient slang ; that do non hold the definitions of the used footings. It is really of import that new apiarists understand the footings that they will be utilizing in their new enterprise. It is besides of import that the new apiarists understand the types of diseases that can afflict their bees, as disease is the figure one cause of bee deceases.

The job described above can be solved by composing a novices guide to the diagnosing and intervention of Apiary diseases. This usher will concentrate on nomenclature, every bit good as how to maintain Apis melliferas healthy. The usher will include the diseases and plagues typically found in the Oregon part. The usher will be set up with a diagnosing subdivision, which will cover how to state what is ailing the bees every bit good as a intervention subdivision that will cover how to do the bees healthy. There will besides be a glossary of footings that will assist the new apiarists learn the nomenclature of apiculture.

The study will include Apiary diseases and plagues found in the Oregon part. The figure of Apiary diseases found globally would non suit in the paper. The usher will cover two bacterial diseases ( American Foul Brood, and European Foul Brood ) , two viral diseases ( Sac Brood, and Acute Bee Paralysis ) , and two fungous diseases ( Chalk Brood, and Nosema ) , every bit good as two Apiary plagues ( Veroa Mite, and Tracheal Mite ) common to Oregon.


The primary research for this paper includes interviews with experts in the field of beekeeping. There are besides questionnaires filled out by get downing apiarists. In add-on to the interviews and questionnaires, firsthand informations gathered in personal research is used as primary research. The secondary research will include Articles from assorted handbills, such as Organic Gardening, Letters in Applied Biology, and Agriculture Research and website information.


Opening a bee hive can be unsafe and safeguards should be taken to cut down the hazard of bee stings. These safeguards should include proper vesture and the usage of a tobacco user.


The chief component of naming a honey bee disease is observation. It can non be stress adequate how of import it is excessively watch your urtications. This will non merely take to a deeper apprehension of bee behaviour, but will let you to see any alterations in said behaviour that is frequently the first index of disease. By detecting what the bees are cleaning out of the hive, a apiarist can acquire a good thought of what is traveling on in the hive.

Bacterial diseases

American Foul Brood

A recent study of apiarists in the Klamath Basin chose American Foul Brood ( AFB ) as the most serious disease to the honey bee population ( Survey, November 1, 2010 ) . The bacteria Paenibacillus larva is the cause of AFB. AFB is so serious because of its long life ; it can stay active for more than 50 old ages ( MAAREC-Mid-Atlantic-Apiculture, 2009 ) . Jim Smith indicated in an interview that AFB is spread from one hive to another in a twosome of distinguishable ways. It can be transferred by floating bees. If the bee is infected with AFB it can pollute the nutrient supply of this new hive when it deposits its nectar in the honey cells. Bees are besides ill-famed robbers and will take the honey shops from a weaker urtications. In the procedure of robbing, bees will reassign contaminated honey to their ain hive, infecting it ( Smith, 2010 ) . AFB can besides be transferred via contaminated equipment such as hive tools, woodenware and the custodies of the apiarist. Larvae that have perished from AFB go a black graduated table that adheres to the cell floor. There can be a billion spores in merely one graduated table. AFB can be triggered with every bit few as 35 spores ( MAAREC-Mid-Atlantic-Apiculture, 2009 ) . ”

Figure Rope trial

Beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diseases_of_the_honey_bee

Diagnosis starts with the scrutiny of the brood frames. Healthy larvae are a glistening white, whereas the septic brood turns a brown colour and turns into a gluey ball on the floor of the cell. The septic larvae dice after their cells are capped. The brood frame will expose a “ Piper nigrum box symptom ” as the disease progresses ( harrar, 1994 ) . The Piper nigrum box symptom is when the brood capping is perforated and sunken into the cell making a distinguishable form. A healthy brood cell will be a tan colour and conelike, whereas the capping of an infected cell will be a amber colour and have a concave, oily visual aspect. There is typically a heap of gluey, dead larvae on the land in forepart of an septic hive ( personal observation, July 16, 2010 ) . Tom Chester identifies one of the most unequivocal trials for AFB as the rope trial. To execute this trial, infix a stick into a cell that has a pierced cap, dip the tip of the stick with the dead larvae, and pull the stick out of the cell. If the contents of the cell come out looking like a melted cheese rope of two to three inches of length, AFB is present. Another mark of AFB is what is described as the odor of a poulet putsch gone incorrect ( Chester, 2010 ) .

European Foul Brood

European Foul Brood, besides known as EFB, is another bacterial disease that affects the Apis mellifera brood. In an interview with Don Peatree, the differences between AFB and EFB were enumerated. The two diseases have many similarities in presentation and overall consequence on the bee population, but there are some important differences that determine the implicit in disease. The larvae with EFB will be an whitish colour, come oning to a light brown. The larvae will be found in assorted places in the cell, whereas larvae with AFB will be coiled on the underside of the cell. The most important difference in the presentation of the disease is the larvae with EFB dice before the cell is capped, whereas the larvae with AFB dice after cresting ( Peatree, 2010 ) .

Figure Larvae infected with EFB ( pepper box )

Beginning: www.extension.org

Figure Larvae infected with EFB

Beginning: www.extension.org

Viral Diseases

Sac Brood

Sac Brood is a viral infection that is likened to colds in worlds. Beekeepers do non see Sac Brood to be a serious menace ; nevertheless a individual infected larva has adequate viruses to pollute more than a million larvae ( MAAREC-Mid-Altantic-Apiculture, 2009 ) .

The symptoms of Sac Brood include pierced cells on the brood frame or cells that remain capped after the environing brood has emerged. Sick bees have black caputs, which face up towards the top of the cell. The dead pre-pupa resemble a slipper inside the cell. Diseased pre-pupae fail to turn into pupae and bend from a glistening white colour to blanch xanthous or light brown ; finally turning into a dark brown colour. The tegument is loose and flabby and the organic structure is watery. The pre-pupa can be pulled out of the cell in what looks to be a H2O filled pouch ( C.M. Zettel Nalen, James D. Ellis, 2010 ) .

Figure Picture of Sac Brood

Beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: //stevesullam.com

Acute Bee Paralysis

Chronic Bee Paralysis, besides known as CBP, is another viral disease that plagues honeybee settlements. CBP merely affects grownup bees. The symptoms include the bee ‘s inability to wing, and shaking of the wings and organic structure ( MAAREC-Mid-Altantic-Apiculture, 2009 ) . Besides, the septic bees ‘ wings will be unnatural, looking as if they are disjointed. Bloating of the venters is normally the first discernible symptom. The septic bees appear glistening and oily due to the losing hair. Infected bees are ejected from the hive and dice within a few yearss of undertaking the disease ( personal observation, July 26, 2010 ) . Smith indicated that the disease is passed from bee to bee by drawn-out contact or rubbing against infected bees which cause hairs to interrupt of and expose unrecorded tissue. This will by and large happen when the ill bees are removed from the hive by worker bees. The virus is non transmitted by nutrient exchange between bees, as it takes several 1000000s of virus atoms to do palsy when given in nutrient ( Smith, 2010 ) .

Figure bee infected with acute bee palsy

Beginning: www.caes.uga.edu

Fungal Diseases


Nosema is the most prevailing disease of grownup Apis melliferas. Nosema Apis, a individual celled parasite particular to the Apis mellifera, causes it. To be infected, the spores of Nosema must be ingested by a bee. The spores develop in the midgut where they grow and reproduce. In a affair of 6 to 10 yearss, 100 spores are produced in the contaminated cell. The cell ruptures, let go ofing the new spores into the midgut to get down the class once more ( Mussen, 2002 ) .

Jim Smith indicated the primary symptom of Nosema is dysentery. Healthy bees do non stool in the hive, and bee frazz is normally a light viridity in colour. Frazz in the hive, as pictured on left, or black frazz, as pictured on right, is a solid index that the bees are infected with Nosema ( Smith, 2010 ) .

Figure Picture of dysentery in hive. Figure Picture of hive with Nosema

Beginning: www.beeman.se/research/nosema: Beginning: www.homesteadingtoday.com

Chalk Brood

The fungus that causes Chalk Brood is called Ascophera Apis. In order for infection to happen the fungus spores must be eaten. Chalk Brood merely infects larvae 3 to 4 yearss old. A white cotton-like substance covers the septic larva, which in due class fills the cell ( Loyd E. Moeller, Paul H. Williams, 2009 ) . The white mass hardens into a chalky ma, which comes out of the cell with small attempt. There will typically be tonss of these calcareous mas in forepart of the hive ; worker bees drag the larvae out of the hive in an attempt to clean it ( personal observation, August 08, 2010 ) .

Figure Side position of Chalk Brood

Beginning: www.cals.ncsu.edu


Varroa Touchs

In 1987, Varroa touchs were found in the United States. They are considered to be one of the most serious plagues of the Apis mellifera worldwide. Infested settlements will run out within 2 old ages unless the apiarist takes the necessary actions to eliminate the touchs ( C.M. Zettel Nalen, James D. Ellis, 2010 ) .

The Varroa touch is an external parasite of the drone and worker bees. Varroa touchs can be observed on bees without the assistance of a microscope, and have a similar visual aspect to ticks. The mated female touch will travel into a brood cell and provender on the larval nutrient supply or puncture the larval organic structure and provender on its blood. The mated female touch will put an egg every 36 hours on the side of the cell. The first egg will develop into a male as it is unfertilised. The remainder of the eggs will turn to be females, they have been fertilized. The immature touchs feed on the developing pupa. The new female touchs will so copulate with the male and emerge from the cell with the bee. The female touchs will so come in a brood cell and go on the rhythm ( C.M. Zettel Nalen, James D. Ellis, 2010 ) . Touchs are transported from hive to hive by attaching themselves to adult bees that may float to other urtications.

Don Peatree indicates that there are seeable symptoms of the harm from the touchs on freshly emerged bees. The freshly emerged bees will be little, have wrinkled wings, and reduced venters. Infected bees besides have shortened life spans. The rapid diminution of the settlement, reduced grownup bee Numberss, patched brood and a big figure of dead bees on the bottom board are other symptoms of mite infestations ( D. Peatree personal communicating, October 19, 2010 ) .

Figure Varroa touch Figure Varroa touch on pupa

Beginning: www.ca.uky.edu/entomology Beginning: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varroa

Tracheal Mite

Tracheal touchs are a parasites that infest the tracheal system ( air manner ) of grownup bees. The touchs eat the blood of honey bees by puncturing their windpipe. The bees ‘ external respiration is impaired as the touchs grow and bread within the bee. Finally the bee dies from respiratory failure or blood loss. Tracheal touchs are responsible for the decease of 1000s of honey bee settlements ( Suszkiw, 2001 ) .

Tom Chester indicated that bees infested with tracheal touchs will go forth the hive. They are unable to wing and will frequently be seen creeping in the grass in forepart of hive. Diagnosing this type of touch is hard because the touchs are inside the bee. The lone unequivocal trial is to carefully behead the bee ; drawing the tracheal system out in one peace. The tracheal system is so placed on a microscope to see if it is infested. This trial is normally performed in a research lab, therefore is non a feasible index for the beginning apiarist. The apiarist can direct a sample bee to the Oregon Agriculture extension for lab testing. The best method of diagnosing for the novice is to govern out other diseases or plagues that have more unequivocal symptoms. Once other causes for the deceasing bees have been eliminated the bees can be treated ( Chester, 2010 ) .

Figure Life rhythm of a tracheal touch

Beginning: /images.search.yahoo.com/imageswa


Bacterial diseases

American Foul Brood

There are two antibiotics for commanding AFB. Oxy-tetracycline hydrochloride ( sold as TerramycinA® ) is sold in bundles incorporating TM 25 dust. The easiest manner to intermix Terramycin for bee intervention is to blend a 4:1 ratio of powdery sugar to Terramycin. The mixture is spread along the top bars of the brood frames keeping the brood ; two tablespoonfuls ( 200 mg active ingredient ) are dispensed in each brood box. In the spring three interventions, 10 yearss apart, are recommended. Try to do the last intervention of the hive six hebdomads before the beginning of a honey flow.

Tylosin ( trade name: TylanA® ) , an antibiotic, is registered for direction of AFB. Tylan is registered for the “ curative ” interventions of AFB. The disease can merely be treated after AFB is observed in the brood. Tylan knocks down the symptoms of the disease really rapidly and is a really effectual curative agent ; it besides remains active in the hive longer than Terramycin. Sugar sirup is non a good method of bringing for this antibiotic. To forestall taint of your honey harvest, be certain to follow the instructions precisely ( C.M. Zettel Nalen, James D. Ellis, 2010 ) .

European Foul Brood

There is one antibiotic registered for commanding EFB. Oxy-tetracycline hydrochloride ( sold as TerramycinA® ) is sold in bundles incorporating TM 25 dust. The easiest manner to intermix Terramycin for bee intervention is to blend a 4:1 ratio of powdery sugar to Terramycin. The mixture is spread along the top bars of the brood frames keeping the brood ; two tablespoonfuls ( 200 mg active ingredient ) are dispensed in each brood box. In the spring three interventions, 10 yearss apart, are recommended. Try to do the last intervention of the hive six hebdomads before the beginning of a honey flow ( C.M. Zettel Nalen, James D. Ellis, 2010 ) .

Viral Diseases

Sac Brood

The settlement can be helped to retrieve by replacing the queen ; when 5-20 % of the brood is infected. This may be achieved by either:

Self recovery ; the settlement produces a new queen on its ain.

The old queen is taken from the hive, and a new queen is introduced.

Two settlements can be combined together when there is less than 5 % of brood contaminated, sugar sirup should be given to assist the settlement to acquire better quickly. Bee wellness is a merchandise made with indispensable oils that helps the bees recover rapidly ( MAAREC-Mid-Altantic-Apiculture, 2009 ) .

Acute Bee Paralysis

There are no chemotherapies for Chalk brood. Requeening may be good.

Fungal Diseases


Fumagillin is used for both the bar and intervention of Nosema in honey bees. The fungicide prevents parasite reproduction.A As with any intervention, attention must be taken that the medical specialty does non come in the honey.A By and large 1 gm of active Fumagillin is adequate for 5 – 6 colonies.A Mix one teaspoon of Fumagillin with 1 gallon of sugar sirup ; this is adequate for one brood box full of bees.A The medicine should be administered for one month in order to liberate the bees from the disease ( Smith, 2010 ) .

Chalk Brood

There are no chemotherapies for Chalk brood. Requeening may be good.


Varroa Touchs

There are several methods of commanding Varroa touchs. Chemical interventions and drone brood pin downing are two interventions that work in the controlling of Varroa touchs. These two methods work good together to guarantee mite populations are in cheque.

Puting plastic strips infused with chemical pesticides between the frames of beehives is a traditional method for Varroa mite control. At the present clip, there are five merchandises approved by the EPA for usage in bee urtications. They are Apiguard, Apistan, APILIFE VAR, Mite-Away II, and Sucrocide ( Loyd E. Moeller, Paul H. Williams, 2009 ) . When used decently, these acaracides will supply sufficient control of Varroa touchs. It is of import to observe that non all of the touchs are killed by an application of any of these merchandises. Look for touchs next season, and be prepared to reiterate the intervention once more. In some instances, interventions are required twice a twelvemonth. It is advisable to jump intervention stuffs, in order to cut down the chance of Varroa touchs developing opposition to chemical controls.

Another method of mite control is drone brood caparison. Touchs prefer drone cells because drones have the longest “ gestation period ” of all the bee castes ( they take the longest to maturate ) . Drone frames have larger cells than typical brood frames and can be purchased from most bee supply shops. As the touch prefers drone cells they can be used to pin down touchs. The drone frame is placed in the brood box, the touchs are attracted to the drone brood, and so to kill the touchs and brood, the frames are put in a deep-freeze for 3 yearss. The Cappings are removed to expose the larvae to birds for remotion ( Chester, 2010 ) .

Tracheal Mite

Tracheal touchs are controlled with menthol pellets. 2 oz. of menthol pellets is put in pierced packages and placed in each hive in the apiary. During warm conditions ( 80oF ) the package should be placed on the bottom board and when maximal day-to-day temperatures are cooler than 60oF out-of-doorss the package should be placed on the top bars. The menthol vaporizes as temperatures rise and its exhausts fill the settlement. The touchs are killed as the bees breathe the bluess. Mite control with menthol is non as effectual during cold winter conditions ( Suszkiw, 2001 ) .


The demand for the pollinating abilities of the Apis mellifera is planetary. The demand for new apiarists is at an all-time high. It is indispensable that prospective apiarists have the tools necessary to eliminate the legion plagues and diseases that plague the apiculture industry. This paper will let the author to bring forth an easy to utilize diagnostic tool for the beginning apiarist, therefore relieving the figure one ground for people non going apiarists.

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