This field guide has been designed to assist beekeepers in the identification and management of American foulbrood (AFB) which is a disease caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae.
Honey bees are susceptible to a range of pests and diseases, most of which are not lethal to the colony but can cause substantial loss in production. One disease, AFB, is lethal to bee colonies and modern beekeeping practices have increased its prevalence.
While some assistance is available to beekeepers, the field diagnosis of the disease is largely up to the beekeeper. In most instances beekeepers do not have access to experts to assist with field identification. Thus the task of learning about AFB, being able to identify the various stages of AFB and know how to manage AFB is primarily the beekeeper's responsibility.