Beehives: Pests, Diseases and Other Problems

Learn how to protect your beehives from common problems with this beginner’s guide to beekeeping.

| September 2015

  • Bears are by far the worst marauders to the beehive. They don’t just pry off lids or steal a few bees; they typically knock over and destroy hives.
    Photo by Daniel Johnson
  • Be sure not to leave anything that may attract critters to your apiary. Always clean up any used frames, comb, etc. before leaving.
    Photo by Daniel Johnson
  • These two hives have evidence of nosema; you can see the brown streaks all over the hives. Also, note the rock on top to help keep raccoons out.
    Photo by Daniel Johnson
  • “The Beginner’s Guide to Beekeeping,” will arm you with the necessary knowledge and insight to begin a bountiful hive of your own.
    Cover courtesy Voyageur Press

In The Beginner’s Guide to Beekeeping (Voyageur Press, 2013), veteran beekeepers and farming professionals Daniel and Samantha Johnson walk you through the dos and do-nots of raising a happy and healthy hive of honey bees.

The following excerpt from chapter 4 “Pests, Diseases, and Problems,” discusses issues such as parasites, animal pests and colony collapse as well as strategies to help save your bees from succumbing to these problems.

You can purchase this book from the Capper’s Farmer store: The Beginner’s Guide to Beekeeping.

We know you want to do the best job you can as a beekeeper, and part of that job includes being able to recognize the characteristics of a thriving, healthy hive in comparison to a hive that is suffering from disease or pest infestation. By educating yourself about the different issues that can affect your colonies, you may be able to spot a potential problem before it becomes harmful, giving you the chance to provide treatment if necessary.



On the other hand, don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed with fear in regard to the safety of your colonies. Chances are good that your hives will thrive and that all will be well in honey bee land. We just want to provide you with a basic overview of pests and diseases so that you have knowledge of them and don’t freeze in horror when someone mentions the phrase “Varroa mites.”

There. Now—keep reading!






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