Free Laboratory Testing for Your Bees

Testing your bees is now free, for the time being at least.
You should send your sample of 30 bees or a section of comb if it is a suspected brood disease, for diagnosis. This is the only reliable method of disease detection.

The sample can be collected in a matchbox by partly protruding the tray, holding it nearly flat over the bees, on the crown board or at the front entrance, and drawing it back with a sweeping movement. Bees can be killed by placing them in the freezer for 24 hours before posting. Label each sample showing the apiary, and hive number together with your name and address.

On no account should plastic containers be used as the bees decompose rapidly in these containers.

Testing Honey Bees for Disease

If the beekeeper suspects any of the brood diseases are present in the hives then, the full frame containing the suspect brood from the hives should be sent also in a paper container. The sample should contain sealed, dead and/or discoloured brood if possible. It would assist diagnosis if the cappings were not damaged (ie squashed in the post).

Send your samples to:

Dr. Mary Coffey,
Plant Health Laboratories,
Backweston Laboratory Campus,
Co. Kildare.
W23 X3PH

For more information:  click here