American Foul Brood (AFB)

What Is It?

American Foulbrood is a small bacterium that is only visible under a high powered microscope. It gets in the bee larvae system and takes their nutrition and the bees die of lack of food.

The Cause

American Foulbrood gets into the larvae when they ingest small spores of the bacterium. The spores germanate (spread) in the bees gut.

The Symptoms

'Pepper Pot' brood pattern
darkened cell cappings
ropeing/sticky larvae remains
dark scales that are hard to remove from the cells

What Will Happen To the Hive

The hive will start to break down due lack of resources then robber bees will steal there remaining resouces and the bees will die off.

How to Stop It

You cant really stop it if this happens to your hive. You have to burn the frames wih AFB or the whole hive.
Also if your hive has AFB you should bury your hive.
In addition if your hive has AFB you should contact your state apiarist

Michael G. Hansen
State Apiarist
MI Dept. of Agriculture
Pesticide & Platn Pest Mgmt. Div.
4032 M-130
Building 116
St. Joseph, MI 49085
(269) 428-2575
(269) 429-1007

>How to Find It

If you shine a black light over your hive the foulbrood will glow a greenish blue color.
Ropy slimy larvae remains are in the cells and you pull it out with a tooth pick or end of a match.

How to Prevent AFB

By changing old honeycombs and replacing it with a new foundation every 2 or 3 years. Keep your hive clean. Check for ropey/slimy larvae remains in the honeycombs.