Depending on the concern, some samples may be taken per apiary or per colony.
- When the main interest is overall apiary health, a composite sample of adult bees from eight
randomly selected colonies in each apiary will be required (we recommend one (1) composite sample
for up to 1,000 colonies).
- When a specific colony is the main concern, one sample of adult bees or comb from this colony will
- Collect a sample of 80-100 adult bees from each of the EIGHT randomly selected
colonies for each apiary that you sample
- One 1/2 NBDC container = ~100 bees
- Samples will be composited in the NBDC, therefore samples must be sent in individual
- Collect ONE sample of 100-300 adult bees from each colony that you sample
- One Full NBDC container = ~200 bees
Sample Type and Amount Required
The type and amount of sample required depends on the disease or condition suspected.
Sample Type and Amount
|Nosema and Tracheal mites
||Adult bees from the honey frame (120 bees required)
||Adult bees from the brood frame (300 bees required)
|American Foulbrood (AFB) and European Foulbrood (EFB)
- A piece of comb containing diseased brood or entire frame
- Adult Bees from the brood frame (120 bees required)
||Live adult bees or diseased brood bees required
|Chemical toxicity (residue)
- Honey (20 g required)
- Adult bees (200 bees required)
- Pollen (10 g required)
- Propolis (10 g required)
|Antibiotic residues in honey
||Honey (20 g required)
It is recommended to examine frames of the entire colony to find the queen before taking any samples.
This will ensure that the queen will not end up in the sample container.
Cut a piece of brood comb about 10 cm x 10 cm (Fig.
1) containing the suspected diseased brood. Wrap the sample in paper towels or
newsprint and send it packaged loosely in a cardboard box. Avoid honey, pollen or nectar in the sample
and do NOT put samples in a plastic or airtight container. If possible, send one full frame with eggs
and larvae at multiple stages.
Collect bees in 30 dram vials (~120mL) (Fig.
2). The NBDC will provide sample containers upon request. Similar containers can be
purchased at local stores (e.g. urine sample container or plastic honey jars). Keep in the freezer until
ready to submit.
Live adult bees (for viral analysis):
Collect adult bees and transfer to a live bee shipping box (Fig.
3) or use a plastic vial and add a queen candy or a sugar cube. If using a plastic
vial, ensure container is aerated by making a few holes on the lid or on side of the container. Bees
must be shipped alive in order to preserve RNA integrity for viral testing.
Collect in a glass or plastic container with a screw cap. Please seal the container properly to avoid
leakage. Keep in a cool place or refrigerate until able to send.
Collect from a pollen trap or bee bread from the brood frame (Fig.
4) in a plastic container with a screw cap. Keep in the freezer until ready to
Scrape propolis with a hive tool while avoiding contamination with bee parts, paint or wood in the sample
as best as possible. Propolis can be tested in its resin form or in alcohol.
Sample containers must indicate:
- Beekeeper’s name
- Colony ID, if a composite sample write Apiary ID
- Date of sample collection
- Type of sample (e.g. honey frame; brood frame, etc.)
* Please use permanent marker to record information