Honey bees need a good residence to flourish and they never bear any offensive conduct. If you are new to the...
Bee Diseases and their Treatments
Bees always attract parasites and diseases and most of them stay hidden for a long period. This is why it is significant that a beekeeper always stays alert for signs and symptoms that point to a certain disease of the beehive. Here are some commonly seen bee diseases and how to treat them.
1. American Foulbrood
It is one of the most deadly diseases of the bee brood. The younger the larvae, the more susceptible they are to this disease. It is caused by the spore-forming Paenibacillus larvae. The larvae are infected through the food that contains the spores. The spores germinate within their gut and feed on them. The larvae get darken and die, but the dead larvae contain as many as 100 million spores which can remain sustainable for 80 years.
· Authenticate infestation and differentiate from other brood diseases
· Inform your regional NCDA&CS Apiary inspector and tell them about the AFB outbreak
· Burn the frames and euthanize the bees
· Fumigate or burn all empty brood boxes, lids, inner covers and bottom boards.
It is a fungal disease and caused by Ascosphaera APIs. This is a disease of the gut caused in the larvae. It feasts on the larvae and deprives it of food and slowly consumes the larvae itself. The body of the brood gets hard and looks chalky and whitish, which is why it gets the name chalkbrood.
· Increased ventilation helps in controlling the fungus
· There is no other medicine for this fungus but re-queening could help
3. Varroa Mites
This is a parasitic mite that is a harbinger of death to an entire colony of bees if not treated on time. It places itself on the thorax of the bees and is visible to the human eye. They are reddish-brown and caused by Varroa destructor. They feed on the hemolymph of the bee. The infected larvae and pupae will develop with a deformity such as deformed legs or wings.
· Chemical treatments work for these parasitic mites. Fluvalinate, Amitraz, Coumaphos, etc. all work effectively on them.
· Natural treatments include powdered sugar dusting, brood interruption, screened bottomed boards are used to treat them by many beekeepers.
4. Small Hive Beetle
The presence of beetle Aethinda tumida larvae in the beehive indicates that the colony has been attacked by this nasty pest. The adult beetles will lay eggs in the hive. These eggs become larvae and feed on the wax. The honeycomb becomes watery and will begin fermenting.
· Chemical fipronil is used to fight this beetle
· The larvae infested combs should be replaced with foundation. It would be wise to burn them and if they are salvageable, the beekeepers can freeze them.
· There are other alternatives that beekeepers use such as oil-based traps, but they are not as successful. The beetles and their larvae still eat into the comb.
A hygienic beehive will be able to stay away from the parasites and diseases. It is important that a beekeeper have knowledge about the diseases the honey bees are likely to come in contact with. So, they can give them proper treatment on time.
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