Real-Time Disease Load Monitoring
By monitoring disease levels over time, beekeepers will be able to make better decisions about when to treat colonies and if treatments are effective. Participating beekeepers will be asked to collect samples from 8 colonies once a month over the production season. These samples will be sent to the University of Maryland and processed to determine Nosema and Varroa levels. Each sampling involves opening the eight colonies (the same eight colonies are sampled each period) and removing one frame that contains young, developing brood. Adult bees from this frame are then collected following the standardized method in this document and placed into sample bottles containing alcohol. You will collect two ¼ cup scoops of bees from each hive. You will pour these two scoops of bees into the provided alcohol bottle and seal them. You will repeat this procedure for each of the 8 hives. In summary, you should leave the apiary with eight alcohol bottles full of bees and one data sampling sheet. Finally, you will send the 8 samples to the University of Maryland Diagnostic lab for analysis.