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Bee Veterinary Kit

Veterinary honey bee field diagnostic kit

This page contains the items included in a field kit designed for veterinary practitioners to inspect honey bee colonies and perform basic field tests and sample collection. This kit was designed by a team of extension specialists and educators through a grant to train veterinary practitioners in honey bee medicine. This team hosted multiple hands-on clinics for veterinary practitioners in the summer of 2023 and handed out this kit.  

  • If you would like further information on how to host a clinic for veterinarians, contact the program PI: Meghan Milbrath / 517-884-9518 / mpi@msu.edu
  • If you would like to purchase kit contents in bulk, view the amazon cart that is filled with items used in the kit - https://a.co/3lwoxp9

Diagnostic kit items

Items included in the kit: 

Beekeeping equipment 

  • Hive tool - Short flat pry bar, used to pry open hive boxes and remove frames
  • Beekeeping veil - PPE to cover face while inspecting a hive. 

Diagnostic equipment

  • Mite check kit  - Used to estimate the infestation of varroa mites on adult bees using an alcohol wash. 
    • Plastic jar with mesh lid (size 8 hardware cloth)
    • 1/2 cup flat-sided scoop
  • Lateral flow devices for American foulbrood (AFB) and European foul brood (EFB) - Disease-specific field test to diagnose a sample of brood with AFB and EFB.
  • Blacklight flashlight - Field test to examine frame for American foulbrood scales. 
  • Holst milk test kit- Field test to diagnose a sample of brood with AFB.
    • Falcon tube 
    • Non-fat dry milk

Support diagnostic equipment

  • Plastic container - Hold kit supplies, visualizing results of mite check test
  • Ziplock bag - Hold kit contents when using container for mite checks
  • Disposable tweezers - Open and collect brood cells to inspect potentially diseased brood.   
  • Magnifying glass - Magnify view of potentially diseased brood or other items in a colony. Counting mites from mite check. 
  • Flashlight  - Increase ability to see in cells in flat lighting. 

Printed resources

Items not included in the kit:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) 
    • Beekeeping jacket, or suit
    • Nitrile gloves
  • Beekeeping equipment
    • Smoker
    • Smoker fuel
    • Lighter
  • Diagnostic equipment
    • Water (for Holst milk test)
    • Isopropyl alcohol for mite check test

This work is created with funding from the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) Education, Extension and Training (EET) competitive grants program of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (2202-04170) and the USDA NIFA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Research and Education Grant program (LNC22-468).