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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Bee Disease Diagnosis Service
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The diagnosis of bee diseases has been a focus of this laboratory since its inception in 1891 and we operate a "Bee Disease Diagnosis Service" for beekeepers across the U.S.

There is no charge for this service.

Samples received of adult bees and beeswax comb (with and without bee brood) are examined for bacterial, fungal and microsporidian diseases as well as for two species of parasitic mites and other pests associated with honey bees (i.e., small hive beetle, Aethina tumida).

When requested, American foulbrood samples are cultured and isolates are screened for their sensitivity to Terramycin (oxytetracycline) and Tylan (tylosin).

We do not analyze samples (bees, wax comb, pollen, etc.) for the presence of viruses or pesticide residue.

We do not make determinations about which species of Nosema (N. apis or N. ceranae) are present, when nosema disease is detected.

Diagnostic reports are transmitted to both the beekeeper, submitter of the samples and to the appropriate apiary inspectors.

We are only able to accept samples originating from the U.S. and its territories.  We do not accept samples from other countries.

How to submit samples 

Due to a staffing crisis, the USDA-ARS Bee Disease Diagnostic Service in Beltsville, MD will be on hiatus, effective immediately. The University of Maryland Bee Lab has graciously supported Mr. Samuel Abban as he leads this 100-year old program, but Samuel is now needed fulltime for a critical University project. Every effort is being made to finalize the hiring of Samuel as a USDA employee so that he can continue this program. Please do not submit new samples until further notice. Samples in hand will be held in cold storage pending our ability to staff this program.  In the meantime, the Bee Informed Partnership offers a paid service for analyzing colony loss samples, https://beeinformed.org/programs/emergency-response-kits-2/. We are extremely sorry for this disruption and look forward to continuing this program as part of USDA-ARS efforts to help beekeepers. Please contact us regarding urgent needs.  Jay Evans, Research Leader, USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705  jay.evans@ars.usda.gov, 301-504-5143.


Last Modified: 5/1/2017
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