Chalkbrood disease (bee)


Chalkbrood is a fungal disease of honey bee brood that infects the gut of the larvae. It is caused by a spore-forming fungus Ascosphaera apis that is consumed along with larval food. Although it can affect workers, drones, or queens it most often occurs in workers and drones. It does not infect humans and has no effect on the quality of the honey or other apiary products.

Diagnosis and tests available


Diagnosis is strongly supported by hive inspection and is confirmed by physical examination of the affected comb. Culture is only performed when physical examination is inconclusive. PCR confirmation is available if requested.

Tests available


Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Ascosphaera apis PCR3

PCR performed from culture

Monday – Friday

3 days

Fungal culture

Frass or fresh honeycomb

Monday – Saturday2

7 days

Hive examination Frass, fresh honeycomb, larvae or bees

Monday – Friday

2 days

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.
2 Prior approval of delivery and testing on Saturday is required. Please contact Customer Service on 1800 675 623 to seek approval.
3 This test is not NATA accredited.

Additional Information

Specimen requirements

  • Fresh frass collected in a sterile container
Fresh comb
  • Fresh honeycomb collected in a sterile container
Larvae or bees
  • Submit in a sterile yellow container

Customer Service

Contact Customer Service for enquiries relating to testing and results, quotations and pricing, couriers, sample submission and invoicing.

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Phone1800 675 623

Operating Hours

8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday (excluding public holidays)

8:30am-12:00pm Saturday (for deliveries only)

Postal Address

Private Bag 4008, Narellan NSW 2567


For Animal export, Plant health or Veterinary quotations, please complete the online quotation request

For Edible oil & oilseed or Feed quality quotations and pricing enquiries, please contact DPI AgEnviro Labs at Wagga Wagga on (02) 6938 1957

For Plant nutrition, Soil health or Water quality quotations and pricing enquiries, please contact DPI AgEnviro Labs at Wollongbar on (02) 6626 1103

Courier services and specimen delivery

For NSW submissions, please contact the relevant Customer Service team for courier account details and to order consignment notes.

For submitters outside of NSW, Couriers can be contacted directly to make bookings and arrange collection of packages at the submitters own cost.

Commercial couriers may use either road or air transport and specimens should therefore be packed in accordance with International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements. Most submission sent by veterinarians to the SVDL for testing are defined as “Biological Substance Category B” and must be packed according to the IATA packing instructions 650 (Biological Substance Category B). As requirements for transport can change, customers should consult with their transport agent to obtain current requirements.

Samples may also be hand delivered to the site during normal business hours (8.30am - 4.30pm).

Sample Type


Delivery Address

Animal (including aquatic animals)

NSW Animal and Plant Health Laboratories (APHL)

EMAI, Woodbridge Road, Menangle NSW 2568