Normal Brood Develpoment

Making the comparison

In order to diagnose AFB, it is important to understand the process of normal worker bee development. Identifying brood symptoms involves comparing the appearance of brood that looks abnormal with the appearance of healthy brood.

Healthy Development of bees

The developmental stages of healthy worker brood are outlined in Fig. 6. Three days after the queen lays an egg it hatches into a pearly white larva. At this stage, the larva appears as a small c-shape in the bottom of the cell.

Figure 6: The developmental stages of healthy worker brood

Compare picture (above) to abnormal development

Over a four-day period, the larva remains in this c-shape, greatly increasing in size until it appears to completely fill up the cell. On the eighth day (after the egg was laid), the larva stretches out along the lower wall of the cell in preparation for changing into the adult form (called the “prepupal stage”). On the ninth day, the cell is capped over with wax by house bees.

On the 12th day, the larva pupates and the form of the adult bee takes shape. The pupa is initially white in appearance, but gradually changes into its adult colouration. On the 21st day, the new adult worker bee chews a hole in the capping and emerges.

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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

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