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March Meeting: Mike Embrey speaks about European Foulbrood

At the March monthly meeting, we welcomed Jaime Belanger and Mike Embrey as guest speakers.

Jaime Belanger, Education Programs Manager at the Sassafras Environmental Education Center, spoke about the potential of partnering with local beekeepers to have bees at the Sassafras Natural Resource Management Area for educational purposes. There was some discussion about the possibility of an observation hive, bee meadow buffers, and how bees fit into their mission.

Mike Embrey spoke about European and American Foulbrood diseases. Both types of foulbrood are bacterial, but they do infect the hive differently. When inspecting your hive, you should look closely at the brood pattern. If there is a lot of shot brood, it can be concerning and potentially indicative of foulbrood. European Foulbrood will present in open larva cells, where the infected larva will appear brownish black and collapsed. American Foulbrood will present in capped cells, where the infected cells will be sunken and have perforations in the wax capping. It is best to catch these diseases early, as you may be able to isolate the hive, destroy the infected part, and hopefully bring it back.

Foulbrood can be a devastating disease and can remain in a hive for two to three years before killing the colony. There are preventative treatments that can help sterilize your hive equipment, but there is no known cure for Foulbrood. In this region, EFB is sporadic and depends on the moisture/dampness and the nectar flow. AFB is here in low numbers and in pockets within the state. The best control for Foulbrood is through apiary inspections and beekeeper inspections.

A copy of Mike's presentation is available on our Handouts section.

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