European Foulbrood

European Foulbrood

 

a widespread infectious disease of bee colonies, caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pluton (opinion in respect to the causative agent of European foulbrood is not unanimous). The open brood (3-4 day-old larvae) is affected, more rarely the sealed brood (5-6 day-old larvae); with a chronic course, pupae and young bees are also affected. Diseased larvae and their remains are a source of the causative agent of infection. European foulbrood affects bees in spring and summer, most often weak colonies or those poorly supplied with food. Upon external examination, a honeycomb with a diseased open brood has a mottled appearance. Diseased larvae change the position in the honeycomb cell; they become yellow and are gradually trans-formed into a doughy, putrid brown mass. A colony affected by foulbrood gathers an average of 24-36 percent less honey; the quantity of wax in such colonies is reduced by half, and the number of bees (swarms, castes) is decreased by three to seven times. When European foulbrood is discovered, the hive is quarantined. Antibiotics and sulfanilamide preparations are used in treatment. Prophylaxis consists of good beekeeping conditions, abundant feed, and supplementary antibiotics.

REFERENCE

Poltev, V. I. Bolezni pchel, 4th ed. Leningrad, 1964.
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