top-MEBW_Pic_Wikipedia-Commons_Honey_bee_portrait.jpg

Threats to bees

On many bee health sites it is common to provide a bunch of over copied information about bee diseases and pests.  Rather than repeating what is already published, this site contains Maine specific information and links to more.

The State Apiarist should be notified of occurrences of reportable diseases by E-Mail or Telephone.

 

American Foulbrood (Paenibacillus larvae)

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Often called by its initials, AFB

Rare in Maine.

One case discovered in Maine by the State Apiarist in 2018, down substantially from prior years when it was routinely found around the state.  A contagious bee disease that must be reported to the state Apiarist;  after lab confirmation of the disease, infected colonies and their hives, must be destroyed by burning.

Bee Aware (Australia) web page about AFB

Bee Informed Blog Post “What is that Smell” by Rob Snyder

Video by Beekeeping.IsGood.ca via YouTube– “Learn to identify American foulbrood in 90 seconds

 

 

European Foulbrood (Melissococcus plutonius)

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy of scientificbeekeeping.com

Courtesy of scientificbeekeeping.com

Often called by its initials, EFB

Common in Maine

Officially a Reportable Disease; it likely will not be in the future.

eXtension web page about EFB

Bee Informed Blog Post “European Foulbrood (EFB)” by Rob Snyder

 

 

Chalk Brood (Ascosphaera apis)

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy of scientificbeekeeping.com

Courtesy of scientificbeekeeping.com

Can be common in Maine.

 – An opportunistic, somewhat seasonal, disease that is related to colony stress, but is not usually fatal to the colony.

Dave Cushman web page about Chalkbrood

Bee Informed Blog Post “Chalkbrood” by Rob Snyder

Honey Bee Suite Blog Post by Rusty Burlew – “Chalkbrood disease of honey beesC

 

 

Nosema Apis & Ceranae

Dysentery on the top bars of frames.  Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Dysentery on the top bars of frames. Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Apis at 400X under a Microscope.  Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Apis at 400X under a Microscope. Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Ceranae at 400X under a Microscope.  Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Ceranae at 400X under a Microscope. Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Common in Maine with ceranae replacing apis

Dysentery can be a symptom of Nosema apis but is not a conclusive One!

Nosema cerane mostly has no symptoms though some say “failure to thrive” is one.

An article from the American be Journal posted by its author Randy Oliver on his website scientificbeekeeping.com  “Sick Bees – Part 17: Nosema – The Smoldering Epidemic

 

 

Varroa Mites (Varroa destructor)

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright (with a  Troplipeaps Mite bottom center)

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright (with a Troplipeaps Mite bottom center)

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Very Common in Maine

Varroa mites are a parasitic mite of Honey bees first introduced into the North America about 1987.   Left undealt with by a beekeeper, Varroa injures developing bees and are a “vector” for spreading viruses within the colony.

A mite that is sometimes confused with Varroa destructor is Varroa jacobsoni - a Reportable Bee pest in Maine.  Varroa jacobsoni is not believed to exist in Maine.

An eXtension web page about “Varroa Mite Reproductive Biology” – a good primer though dated.

A Paper by Dr. Samuel D. Ramsey et al. “Varroa destructor feeds primarily on honey bee fat body tissue and not hemolymph

AVideo by The Honey Bee Health Coalition via YouTube – “Sampling Methods

A Video by Bee Aware (Australia) via YouTube “Varroa spread, life cycle and population growth

A Video by Dr. Peck, et al. “Varroa destructor mite infests bee from a flower

 

 

Tracheal Mites (Acarapis woodi)

Uninfected Trachea on L.  Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Uninfected Trachea on L. Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Formerly very common in Maine, being watched for re-occurrence.

Many of the treatments for the Varroa Mite, are also effective against the Tracheal Mite.  The increase in Oxalic Acid Vaporization as a Varroa Mite treatment is thought by some to be tied to an increase in Tracheal Mite cases as the Oxalic Acid particles may not be small enough to reach and kill the mites.

USDA ARS web page about Tracheal Mites

Bee Aware (Australia) web page about Tracheal Mites

Video by Dr. Jamie Ellis, University of Florida, via You Tube – “Tracheal Mite Symptoms

PDF by Dr. Diana Sammataro, USDA ARS – “An Easy Dissection Technique for Finding the Tracheal Mite

 

 

Troplipeaps Mites (Tropilaelaps clareae)

Size comparison of Varroa destructor (L) & Tropilaelaps clareae (R) C ourtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Size comparison of Varroa destructor (L) & Tropilaelaps clareae (R) Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

C ourtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Not yet found in Maine – Reportable if found

Bee Informed Blog Post “Tropilaelaps Mites” by Jennie Stizinger

 

 

Small Hive Beetles (Aethina tumida) 

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Common in Southern and Coastal areas.  Becoming more common on the North coast.  

Brought into Maine by migratory beekeepers and in packages/nucleus colonies originating in the southern United States.  In parts of Maine, they successfully over winter.

eXtension web page about Managing Small Hive Beetles

PDF from Mississippi State University Extension – Small Hive Beetle

Blog post by Kelly Beekeeping about Small Hive Beetles

 

 

Greater (Galleria mellonella) and Lesser (Achroia grisella) Wax Moths

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Nature’s Clean Up Crew

Often found in stored equipment.

Bee Aware (Australia) web page about Wax Moths

A blog post by Carolina Honeybees – “Wax Moths in Bee Hives : Is it a Death Sentence?

 

 

Mice / Voles

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

Common in most areas

A blog post from Beekeeping.IsGood (Canada) “Keeping mice, voles, and shrew out of beehives over winter

 

 

Black Bears (Ursus americanus)

MEBW_Pic_Federal_Black_Bear.jpg

Wide Ranging in Maine

A PDF from MAAREC – “Bees and Bears

 

Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina)

Flickr by Gilles San Martin CC BY-SA 2.0

Flickr by Gilles San Martin CC BY-SA 2.0

Not yet in Maine – Likely to soon be reportable if found.

An FAQ on the Asian Hornet from the British Beekeepers Association

 

 

Colony Collapse Disorder

CCD is a set of symptoms which can be summarized as most of the bees vanish from their hive, leaving the Queen, a few other bees, and plenty of food.  The cause – although the subject of much speculation – has never been positively identified.  CCD has not been seen in Maine in some years.

You can read a good summary by the EPA of CCD here.