Varroa Mite: Bees are at risk of several diseases. As an experienced beekeeper or just starter, you’ll need to be aware of Prevention & Treatment For Honey Bee Diseases: Varroa Mite, Fungal Diseases, Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (ABPV) Etc. so that you can avoid them. The best way to do that is to acquire bees from reliable source with proper protection to diseases and parasites to ensure the safety of your bees. Beekeepers should know who provide better resistance to prevent diseases like bee mite.
Prevention & Treatment For Varroa Mite, Fungal Diseases, ABPV On Honey Bees
01. American Foulbrood
This assassin disease is caused by Paenibacillus larva, a spore-forming bacterium. This is the most dangerous of all the bee diseases. As the 3-day-old bee larva’s ingest the spore present in their food. This spore germinates in their hives and develops into the vegetative form. The bee usually dies after their cell is sealed; by this time the larva may contain up to 100 million spores.
The spore is highly infectious and rapidly spreads throughout the brood chamber. The spores are not always deadly. At an early enough stage, drug treatment is effective in preventing the development of vegetative form. Terramycin is an antibiotic which can be a successful treatments of above disease.
American Foulbrood, Acute Bee Paralysis, Store Brood
Stonebrood, a fungal disease caused by Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus fumigatus. These funguses commonly live in soil and are also pathogenic to other birds & insects.
The infection spreads into the whole honey bee brood to become mummified. Since it is hard to identify in the initial stages, when bee larva ingest the spores, they may hatch in the stomach and produce a collar near the head.
After the bees die they become solidified and hence the disease’s name comes. As the fungus erupts, that may form a false skin. Beekeepers should remove infected larva from the colony, and if this happens soon enough, the beehives may survive.
03. Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (ABPV)
ABPV is the short form of Acute Bee Paralysis Virus, a common source of infection for honey bees. It is similar to the Kashmir bee virus, the Israel sensitive paralysis virus and black queen cell virus.
Once the bees become infected with this disease, the colony will suddenly collapse, notwithstanding the fact that it is often found in apparently healthy hives.
04. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
CCD is possibly one of the least implicit of bee diseases. In 2006 the beekeepers first witness it in North American bee colonies. It causes the sudden departure of the worker bees from the colony.
Although its reason is unknown, but assumed that factors may include stressors caused by environmental changes, or a combination of pathogens, mites, transgenic crops, pesticides or radiation emission from man-made devices like cell phones.
05. Varroa Mite
Treat varroa mite with Apistan while mites are in low level, kill them to get rid of bee infestation. Place two stripes of Apistan in the brood chamber of the colony for about 4 weeks.
These stripes can be used with sticker and fine mesh screen on the bottom brood of colony to capture mites if any. The sticky paper also catches cell cappings and debris. By this method it’s possible to detect low level infestation. This Apistan stripes can be found in any large beekeeping supply company. It can be used to detect mites and also treat Varroa infestation. If any colony is found infested, all the colonies of that site should be treated for successfully remove varroa mites.
06. Honey Bee Colony Disorder for Fungal Diseases
The larvae must consume the spores of the fungus for the infection to occur. It only infects larvae of three to four days old. No chemical treatments for this disease, instead, it can be controlled by bee propagation and good management.
The infected larvae are rapidly covered by the white cotton-like mycelium as shown in Fig. 1. The fungus finally fills the entire cell as shown in Fig. 2. The white-grey accumulation soon hardens, forming a hard, dried up mummy which is easily detached from the cell as shown in Fig. 3.
The larva in the cell will look like a chunk of chalk. Thus, the name of the disease is chalk brood. Presence of Hygienic queen in the hive can reduce this disease. And Hygienic queens are available in professional queen breeders.
Also warm and dry hive interior can reduce this disease as fungus can grow in wet surface with excessive moisture. Varroa control ultimately reduces the scope of fungus growing.
How To Prevent Bee Diseases
The best way to prevent bee diseases is to apply Terramycin, Sulfazole and other available therapeutic medicine to the bee’s food during the spring and fall seasons. These treatments can help to save the life of huge amount of bees annually.
Good news is that, recently a new medicine named Symbeeotic is invented in Lund University after researching few years on Bee diseases. Symbeeotic is an Antibiotic enable the bees to fight against diseases naturally. It’s very simple. This medicine will make capable the bees to use its own and useful Bacterias and strengthen its stomach to fight against diseases naturally.
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Sources of information
01. World Beekeeping Association,
02. Introduction to Managing the Honey-Bee Colony, by C. L. Farrar.,
03. American Bee Journal,
04. Experience of my own beekeeping project