To keep your honey bee colonies healthy, it is important to determine the level of varroa mites in your colonies. This method provides a good estimate of the number of varroa mites on the adult bees. This method has the advantage of not killing the bees.
- The methods described here are illustrated in the following University of Minnesota Instructional Poster “Powder Sugar Roll For Varroa Mites on Honey Bees” Download a .pdf here.
More detail about the powder sugar roll
Download a diagnostic manual for all honey bee ailments
Many diseases, parasites, predators, and conditions affect honey bee colonies.
In addition to pages on eXtension.org, the following resources can guide you in the identification and treatment of these issues.
Diagnosis of Honey Bee Diseases; Shimanuki, H. and Knox, D. A.; USDA-ARS Agriculture Handbook Number 690; Download a .pdf of Diagnosis of Honey Bee Diseases
Additional websites for honey bee health information:
a beekeeper holds an EFB test kit package
American foulbrood and European foulbrood are bacterial diseases that affect honey bee brood. The causative organism for American foulbrood is Paenibacillus larvae. European foulbrood is caused by Melissococcus plutonius. A preliminary diagnosis of these two separate diseases can be made based on their symptoms. After these symptoms have been observed, a diagnostic field kit can be used to more clearly establish the presence of the causative agent of these diseases.