Infectious diseases and parasites
There are a number of infectious diseases and parasites that can have serious consequences for a bee colony. A beekeepers day-to-day management should aim for reducing the likelihood of spreading diseases and parasites between the hives. Diseases also have to be kept in mind when moving bees around for pollination services and collection of specific nectar types such as heather honey. There are many veterinary regulations regarding this, especially when crossing boundaries between counties/countries. Please inform yourself before moving your bees!
Among them are:
- American foulbrood - a highly infectious bacterial infection that leads to the death of bee brood
- European foulbrood - a bacterial infection that leads to the death of bee brood
- Nosema - a fungal infection that affects the adult bee's intestinal tract
- Chalkbrood - a fungal infection that affects the brood, ultimately killing it
- Stonebrood - a fungal infection that affects the brood, ultimately killing it
- Varroa - a parasitic mite that often leads to secondary infections, such as a number of viruses, that end up killing the colony over the course of a few years.
- a number of different viruses
Detailed descriptions of these diseases that affect all honey bee subspecies can be found for example here