Detecting American Foulbrood with a Blacklight: UPDATE

For clarification, using a blacklight is supposed to help you see if there are AFB scales in the bottom of a cell. The blacklight will make other things made of protien glow as well, so always double check that what you are seeing is a scale and not shaped like something else. An AFB scale should only be on the bottom of a cell (see picture). Be sure to look at the comb under a normal light as well, and if you are still not sure then ask or you can even send in a picture!

American Foulbrood scale

The view of this picture where someone is holding the top of the frame and looking down into the bottom of the cells. You can see AFB scales all over in this picture – they are the dark, flat shapes on the bottom of the cells.

Written By: Katie Lee

Katie Lee has written 53 post in this blog.

I'm a part of the Midwest Bee Team based out of the University of Minnesota. I work with commercial migratory beekeepers in North Dakota and Minnesota to help them monitor pest and disease levels. Before I was on the Midwest Team, I was on the CA Bee Team working for the Northern California bee breeders. I was introduced to honey bees during my last semester as an undergrad when I took a class on social insects with Dr. Marla Spivak. Marla asked me to work in the U of MN Bee Lab over the summer, and have been enthralled with bees ever since. My main interests are bee breeding, Varroa, disease ecology, and extension work. I received both a BS in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and a MS in Entomology from the University of Minnesota.