Adult Bee Diseases Short Course

A two-day intensive course for beekeepers covering the field and laboratory diagnosis of diseases of adult honeybees.

The course has been developed by the National Diploma in Beekeeping Board as part of its series of Train-the-Trainer courses. It is part-funded by Fera as part of the Defra Healthy Bees Plan.

Course Content

As beekeepers we need to have an understanding of potential diseases, and the skills with which to recognise and treat these so that our bees can remain healthy. During this course, we will develop an understanding of how colony health is affected by Acarine, Amoeba, Nosema, and the common viruses, and how these disorders can be managed. Practical work will complement this by providing field diagnosis and laboratory skills to allow positive diagnoses to be made, supporting timely and appropriate treatments.
Topics covered will include
  • Overview of honeybee anatomy, including respiratory and digestive systems
  • The causative organisms of Nosema, Acarine, Amoeba, and virus diseases,
  • including their life cycle and spread
  • Differentiating between Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae
  • The site of infection and nature of the damage caused by each of the adult bee diseases
  • Appropriate treatments
  • Discussion of dysentery and its relationship with adult bee diseases
  • Field diagnosis techniques for Nosema, Acarine, and virus diseases
  • Taking, storing, and posting adult bee samples for disease diagnosis
  • The set-up and use of dissecting microscopes
  • Elemental dissection of honey bee digestive and respiratory organs
  • Laboratory diagnosis of Acarine using dissecting microscope
  • The set-up and use of compound microscopes
  • The preparation and staining of samples on microscope slides
  • Laboratory diagnosis of Nosema using compound microscope
 The course will be limited to no more than 10 students at a time.

Target Audience

The Short Courses are aimed at those beekeepers with some experience of the craft; they are not aimed at novices. We can provide guidance to applicants as to the appropriateness of our Short Courses to their stage of beekeeping. We do ask that students respect this policy. Students are welcome to apply on a first come, first served basis.

The NDB Short Courses can provide valuable discussion, learning, and hands-on experience for those planning to take the BBKA Modules and Assessments above Basic level.

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