Honey Bee Health Logo

Resources

The USDA Honey Bee Research Laboratory offers a Bee Disease Diagnosis Service for beekeepers across the U.S. free of cost. Samples of adult bees or comb (with or without bee brood) can be examined for bacterial, fungal and microsporidian diseases, as well as for parasitic mites and other pests associated with honey bees. This laboratory does not analyze samples for the presence of viruses or pesticide residue, and does not differentiate between species of Nosema.

For complete information on submitting samples for diagnosis, call (301) 504-8821 or e-mail samuel.abban@ars.usda.gov or visit their website at www.ars.usda.gov/northeast-area/beltsville-md-barc/beltsville-agricultural-research-center/bee-research-laboratory/docs/bee-disease-diagnosis-service.

All samples must be packaged and shipped according to the lab’s requirements. Samples are only accepted that originate in the United States or its territories, and must include the beekeeper’s full contact information. Samples should be addressed to:

Bee Disease Diagnosis

Bee Research Laboratory

10300 Baltimore Ave. BARC-East

Bldg. 306 Room 316

Beltsville Agricultural Research Center – East

Beltsville, MD 20705

The USDA National Science Laboratory provides objective and timely testing services to detect and quantify chemical and pesticide contamination residues in honey bees, honey, wax and other bee hive products. For detailed information about their services and fees, phone (704) 833-1525 or email nationalsciencelaboratories@ams.usda.gov or visit www.ams.usda.gov/services/lab-testing/nsl.

The Bee Informed Partnership offers services to diagnose honey bee parasites and pathogens (including viruses), as well as detecting pesticide contamination. For more information about their prices and services, or for more detailed and current information about honey bees, their diseases and parasites, and bee hive pests, visit their website at www.beeinformed.org.

The Honey Bee Queen & Disease Clinic at North Carolina State University offers a range of diagnostic services, including pathogen screening and queen genetic quality, as well as the ability to customize experimental evaluations. For more information about their prices and services visit their website at entomology.ces.ncsu.edu/apiculture/queen-disease-clinic.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency uses incident report data to help inform pesticide regulatory decisions and identify patterns of bee kills associated with the use of specific pesticide ingredients. Beekeepers that suspect pesticides are responsible for a bee colony death should contact the EPA at beekill@epa.gov.

Arkansas state law requires beekeepers to register the locations of their apiaries with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture to help track and eliminate contagious diseases and hive pests. This agency offers free hive inspection services to registered Arkansas beekeepers. Contact the Apiary Section at (501) 225-1598 to schedule an appointment or visit online at https://www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/plant-industries/regulatory-section/apiary/ for more information. Beekeepers outside of Arkansas can find appropriate local agency contacts at apiaryinspectors.org/us-inspection-services.

For the most current information on pest and disease treatment recommendations for bee colonies, consult Insecticide Recommendations for Arkansas - MP144. This publication is updated each year, and is available at no cost from the University of Arkansas System Cooperative Extension Service. Ask for a copy at your local county extension office or view and download it online: www.uaex.edu/publications/mp-144.aspx.

Any reference, inclusion or exclusion in this publication to any specific commercial product, process or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is intended solely for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

When using any pesticide product, read and follow all label directions and use all appropriate personal safety equipment. The label is the law!

References

Caron, D. M., & Connor, L. J. 2013. Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping. Kalamazoo, MI. Wicwas Press.

El Khoury, S. et al. 2018. Deleterious interaction between honeybees (Apis mellifera) and its microsporidian intracellular parasite Nosema ceranae was mitigated by administrating either endogenous or allochthonous gut microbiota strains. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6, 58.

Ellis, J. D., Graham, J. R., & Mortensen, A. (2013). Standard methods for wax moth research. Journal of Apicultural Research, 52(1), 1-17.

Huang, Wei-Fone, et al. 2013. Nosema ceranae escapes fumagillin control in honey bees. PLoS Pathogens>, 9.3: e1003185.

Mussen, E. 2011. Diagnosing and treating Nosema disease. Extension Apiculture Bulletin, UC Davis, 4.

a Rosenkranz, P., Aumeier, P., & Ziegelmann, B. 2010. Biology and control of Varroa destructor. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 103, S96-S119.

Shimanuki, H., & Knox, D. A. 1991. Diagnosis of Honey Bee Diseases (USDA-ARS Agriculture Handbook Number 690).

Vidal-Naquet, N., & Lewbart, G. 2015. Honeybee Veterinary Medicine: Apis mellifera L. London, 5M Publishing.

honeycomb pattern with bees