Visual symptoms of American foulbrood

Overview of AFB symptoms

Symptoms of AFB are normally only found in worker larvae and pupae. (On rare occasions, symptoms will be found on drone brood (generally only in heavy infections). Symptoms of the disease are also ocassionally found in queen cells.)

What follows is a brief visual snapshot of each of the main symptoms of AFB. For more on each symptom, click on each heading below.

Figure 8: Healthy cell capping
Figure 8: Healthy cell capping
Figure 9: Dark sunken cell capping
Figure 9: Dark sunken cell capping
Figure 10: A cell capping with a hole
chewed in it
Figure 10: A cell capping with a hole chewed in it
Figure 13: Spotty brood pattern
Figure 13: Spotty brood pattern
Figure 15: Healthy prepupa
Figure 15: Healthy prepupa
Figure 16: Coffee coloured AFB

Figure 16: Coffee coloured prepupal AFB infected larva

Figure 19: Early stage AFB
infected pupa
Figure 19: Early stage AFB infected pupa
Figure 20: A very early stage
AFB infected prepupa slumped
on the lower cell wall
Figure 20: A very early stage AFB infected prepupa slumped on the lower cell wall
Figure 21: An early stage
AFB infected prepupa
slumped on the lower cell wall
Figure 21: An early stage AFB infected prepupa slumped on the lower cell wall
Figure 17: Pupal scale with tongue
Figure 17: Pupal scale with tongue
Figure 23: Infected pupa with tongue
stretched across the cell
Figure 23: Infected pupa with tongue stretched across the cell

Pupal tongue is the definitive symptom of American foulbrood.

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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
Videos

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

AFB Symptoms
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.

AFB Law
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
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.

AFB App
The AFB App

This is currently under development and all registered beekeepers will be notified when it is available.