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Brief descriptions, treatments and management
There are many diseases that can affect bee health. Below is a list of the more common maladies. The two most important problems are varroa mites and foulbrood. If sanitary beekeeping practices are followed, treatment and prevention of foulbrood and varroa go a long way to having a healthy apiary. The rest usually takes care of itself through good husbandry.
Please "bee" patient as we update our site and get permissions to use quality pictures showing different diseases.
AMERICAN FOULBROOD (AFB)
A bacterial infection that affect developing larvae, caused by a spore-forming bacterium called Paenibacillus larvae. It is highly contageous and can decimate a beekeeper's entire operation if an apiary is not managed well. There is no treatment for AFB, only prevention. Click on the above link for detailed infomation from Dr. Meghan Milbrath, an academic specialist at MSU and a very a experienced beekeeper.
Photo by Sarah B. Scott.
EUROPEAN FOULBROOD (EFB)
Another bacterial infection affecting developing larvae. EFB is caused by the bacterium Melissococcus plutonius. Unlike AFB, one does not necessarily have to destroy infected colonies. Treatment may be possible with this infection. Click on the link above for detailed information from Wilson and Skinner of the University of Tennessee.
Photo by Michael Wilson
An external parasitic mite. Not only does it cause physical damage to bees, but also carries viruses that infect bees; affecting individual and colony health. It is critical to manage Varroa in your apiary. Meghan Milbrath has a great article on how to effectively manage your apiary. There is no one simple solution. Awareness and being proactive is the key.
Photo by Fabio Tarable
COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER (CCD)
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