Yet another disease?  Yes, sadly just like humans there’s a number of things that can affect your bees.  But just like other diseases this one is usually only a problem in a weak hive.

So what is European Foulbrood and how do you deal with it?

The Basics

European Foulbrood has no spores so unlike American Foulbrood you can break the cycle without spores hanging around to hatch the disease again.

This is a disease that happens when the hives are stressed- and old queen, another disease, etc.  Basically the queen isn’t giving off the right pheromones to tell the bees to clean out the disease well enough.  Grubs start to shrivel in their cells and turn tan and then black in the cell and the trachea will show up white in the dark dead larvae.

Signs of EFB

It will smell from many feet away- it’s VERY stinky!

Similar to AFB the brood will have a spotty pattern with lots of empty cells.  With EFB the larvae usually die before being capped and it’s usually true that the dead larvae will not form a rope structure like AFB.

EFB Treatment

The treatment is Terramycin and powdered sugar.  Requeening will usually solve the problem of EFB.  If late in the year treat with medications as it may be too late to requeen.  Remember to treat after honey is taken off the hive as this will contaminate your honey.

You can learn more about Euopean Foulbrood here and see pictures of EFB here.

Photo © 2000 by Cartography Associates

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