Colour of Brood

Healthy versus unhealthy larvae colour

Healthy larvae and freshly capped pupae are pearly white in colour (Fig.15).

Infected larvae and pupae change from pearly white to a brown colour resembling coffee with milk (Fig.16). The distinctive coffee-brown colour is often considered a definitive symptom of AFB, although brownish-coloured larvae can sometimes be found that have died from causes other than AFB.

Figure 15: Healthy prepupa
Figure 15: Healthy prepupa
Figure 16: Coffee coloured AFB
Figure 16: Coffee coloured AFB

There is also a significant variation in the colour of AFB infected larvae and pupae, ranging from very pale brown to almost black. The variation depends on the progression of the disease and the degree of drying of the diseased material. After about a month, the infected larvae or pupae will dry out completely and turn totally black (Fig. 17). Dried out, infected larvae and pupae are commonly referred to as “scale”.

Figure 17: Pupal scale with tongue
Figure 17: Pupal scale with tongue
AFB Quiz
Take the AFB 5 minute quiz

How well do you know what you need to know about AFB and beekeeping? Take our short quiz and find out.

AFB Videos

Our videos cover everything from your legal obligations to how to recognise AFB, collecting cell and bee samples and more.

AFB Symptoms

There’s a lot of good information here, telling you everything you need to know about recognising AFB: the visual symptoms, smell of AFB and more.

AFB Inspection and Diagnosis
Inspection and Diagnosis

Successfully eliminate AFB by telling the difference between symptoms of AFB and other brood diseases in the hive. We tell you the best methods for inspecting your hives.

The Law

New Zealand beekeepers have a number of legal obligations that must be met regarding AFB disease. Read the shortened list in summary, here.

AFB Elimination

Most hives become infected because bees, honey or equipment have been put into a hive from another hive that is infected with AFB. Lower your chances of an  AFB infection by reading this section.

AFB Course Info
AFB Recognition Course Info

Find out when the next AFB Recognition and Competency Courses, or Refresher Courses are available. These are held throughout the year in various New Zealand locations across the South Island and North Island.

The AFB App

Follow the link below to open the App. Once open to save to your device you need to bookmark the URL on your phone so you can find it easily again. Please click here to open.