Deciding what to test

Sample types

A variety of types of samples can be tested in the laboratory for AFB spores.

The choice of sample will depend on the reason the hive, apiary or bee product needs to be tested. Contact the laboratory before sending a sample.

Sample types include:

  1. Confirmation of Diagnosis – required because there are one or more AFB-like symptoms in the hive, and a confirmed diagnosis is needed. The material tested should always be larvae or pupae actually showing the AFB symptoms. Adult bees or honey should not be tested for confirmation of diagnosis as the results will be less reliable.
  2. Surveying the Disease Status of Colonies – required because colonies may have been exposed to AFB, but are not currently exhibiting any disease symptoms. The best material to test is adult bees taken off brood frames. Honey or larvae/pupae should not be tested as the results from these tests will be less reliable.
  3. Surveying the Disease Status of an Apiary or Group of Apiaries – required to identify any potential disease problems in the future when no disease is currently being found. Composite bee samples can be used, consisting of 30 bees from each hive in an apiary, with all the bees put into the same container. Honey can also be tested from the extracting tank, although it may be harder to relate the results back to the correct apiary.

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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.