American Foulbrood & European Foulbrood

Charlie Vanden Heuvel
Charlie Vanden Heuvel

WHEN: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

American foulbrood (AFB) is a fatal bacterial disease of honey bee brood caused by the spore forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. It is not a stress related disease and can infect the strongest to the weakest colony in an apiary. Infected brood usually die at the pre-pupal or pupal stage.

EFB is a bacterial disease of honey bee brood. It is considered less virulent than American foulbrood, and colonies sometimes recover from infection. Its field symptoms are easily confused with those of AFB, but there are important differences. Instead of being a healthy pearly white, larvae with EFB appear off-white, progressing to brown, and are twisted in various positions in the cell. Larvae with EFB usually die before they are capped whereas larvae with AFB die after they are capped.

Both American Foulbrood and European Foulbrood are diseases that are confusing to the novitiate yet crucial to the beekeeper to recognize and understand.

Charlie is now at the Journey Level of the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program avidly studying, mentoring beekeepers throughout the Gorge, teaching beekeeping classes and of course continuous learning.