Preparation for Candidates – Microscopy

NDB Candidates will be expected to undertake several microscopy tasks during the exam. In addition to visual diagnosis of diseases in comb, candidates need a detailed understanding of the preparation of microscope slides, to provide a positive diagnosis to a visual diagnosis.

The Advanced Course provides opportunities to handle combs from colonies with a variety of diseases. Candidates are recommended to also use any local disease courses which are often run in conjunction between the NBU and local or regional BBKA associations.


Candidates should be familiar with all the visual symptoms of diseases likely to be seen in the UK along with any future threats. Licenced treatments and their limitations should be understood.

Diagnosis of pathogens which can be found in infected colonies is required. Preparation of reference samples of foulbrood infections is recommended to allow candidates to identify the causative agent readily.


Candidates are expected to be fully familiar with all aspects of of bee anatomy. It is recommended that candidates undertake their own self-study and preparation of slides of anatomy to ensure they can identify all parts of a honeybee on sight.

See also the pages on Candidate Guidance along with Entomology, Botany, Practical Exam preperations and reading and interpreting Research

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