Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

How to Submit Samples
headline bar

Submission of Samples for Diagnosis:

General Instructions

· Beekeepers, bee businesses, and regulatory officials may submit samples.

· Samples are accepted from U.S. states and territories, and from Canada; samples are NOT accepted from other countries. For samples originating from Canada click here.

· Include a short description of the problem along with your name, address, phone number or e-mail address.

· There is no charge for this service.

· For additional information, contact Bart Smith by phone at (301) 504-8821 or e-mail: bart.smith@ars.usda.gov

How to Send Adult Honey Bees

·         Send at least 100 bees and if possible, select bees that are dying or that died recently. Decayed bees are not satisfactory for examination.

·         Bees should be placed in and soaked with 70% ethyl, methyl, or isopropyl alcohol as soon as possible after collection and packed in leak-proof containers.

·         USPS, UPS, and FedEx do no accept shipments containing alcohol. Just prior to mailing samples, pour off all excess alcohol to meet shipping requirements.

·         Do NOT send bees dry (without alcohol).

How to send brood samples

· A comb sample should be at least 2 x 2 inches and contain as much of the dead or discolored brood as possible. NO HONEY SHOULD BE PRESENT IN THE SAMPLE.

· The comb can be sent in a paper bag or loosely wrapped in a paper towel, newspaper, etc. and sent in a heavy cardboard box. AVOID wrappings such as plastic, aluminum foil, waxed paper, tin, glass, etc. because they promote decomposition and the growth of mold.

· If a comb cannot be sent, the probe used to examine a diseased larva in the cell may contain enough material for tests. The probe can be wrapped in paper and sent to the laboratory in an envelope.

Send samples to:

Bee Disease Diagnosis
Bee Research Laboratory
Bldg. 306 Room 316

 Beltsville Agricultural Research Center - East

Beltsville, MD 20705


Last Modified: 12/12/2013