Bee Diseases

Bee Diseases

    Honey bees are attacked by a large number of diseases which are caused by different organisms including virus, bacteria, protozoan and mites both ectoparasitic and endoparasitic. The extent of damage varies from death of some brood or adults to complete loss of colonies. The disease spreads from one colony to other through different manipulations done in the apiary as well as through robber bees, swarms and drifting bees. Brief account of symptoms and control measures is given in the tabular form below which can also help in differentiating one disease from the other.
    Bee Diseases:
    Brood Diseases:

    American Foul Brood European Foul Brood Sac Brood/Thai sac brood
    Causative Organism Paenibacillus larvae (bacteria) Melissococcus pluton


    Virus (sac brood in A. mellifera and Thai sac brood in A. cerana
    Time of death Late larval or early pupal stage Coiled larvae in unsealed

    cell (usually young unsealed larvae sometime older sealed larvae)

    Late larval stage; (usually older sealed larvae sometimes young unsealed larvae)
    Cappings Sunken and punctured Dead brood in uncapped stage Capping removed or punctured often with two holes.
    Colour of dead brood Off white to light cream to brown; coffee brown to dark brown or almost black Yellowish white to grey or dark brown, dark brown or almost black (Fig. 17.2) as compared to glittering white in case of normal brood (Fig. 17.1) Straw coloured, starts darkening from head
    Position of dead brood Lying flat on cell base Coiled, twisted or collapsed Extended with head curled upright in cells (Fig. 17.3)
    Consistency of dead brood Sticky to ropy Soft and gummy; rarely sticky or ropy, granular Sac like with watery content
    Odour of dead brood Glue pot, putrid faint Slightly sour to penetratingly sour, Putrid fish None to slightly sour; faint sour
    Type of brood affected Worker, rarely drone or queen Worker, drone and queen Worker only
    Control Terramycin @ 0.250 – 0.400g in 5lt sugar syrup feeding Feed Terramycin @ 0.2g in 500ml conc. Sugar syrup No effective cure

    17.1 17.2 17.3

Last modified: Friday, 17 August 2012, 7:56 AM