USDA Beltsville Bee Lab

General Instructions

·         Beekeepers, bee businesses, and regulatory officials may submit samples.

·         Samples are accepted from U.S.   states and territories, and from  Canadasamples are NOT accepted from other countries.  For samples originating from Canada   click here.;

·         Include a short description of the problem along with your name, address, phone number or e-mail address.

·         There is no charge for this service.

·         For additional information, contact Bart Smith by phone at (301) 504-8821   or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


How to Send Adult Honey Bees

·         Send at least 100 bees and if possible, select bees that are dying or that died recently. Decayed bees are not satisfactory for examination.

·         Bees should be placed in and soaked with 70% ethyl, methyl, or isopropyl alcohol as soon as possible after collection and packed in leak-proof containers.

·         USPS, UPS  , and FedEx do no accept shipments containing alcohol.  Just prior to mailing samples, pour off all excess alcohol to meet shipping requirements. 


How to send brood samples

·         A comb sample should be at least 2 x 2 inches and contain as much of the dead or discolored brood as possible. NO HONEY SHOULD BE PRESENT IN THE SAMPLE.

·         The comb can be sent in a paper bag or loosely wrapped in a paper towel, newspaper, etc. and sent in a heavy cardboard box. AVOID wrappings such as plastic, aluminum foil, waxed paper, tin, glass, etc. because they promote decomposition and the growth of mold.

·         If a comb cannot be sent, the probe used to examine a diseased larva in the cell may contain enough material for tests. The probe can be wrapped in paper and sent to the laboratory in an envelope.


Send samples to:

    Bee Disease Diagnosis
Bee Research Laboratory
Bldg. 476 Room 204
Beltsville Agricultural
, MD 20705 -

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MSBA is selling Tee Shirts.  Additional information on purchasing, please go to the MSBA (website)


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Howard County Beekeepers Association Inc.

(A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization)

Our purpose is to promote honey beekeeping in Howard County, Md by providing a forum in which current honey beekeepers may become more knowledgeable of best practices and the public can become more, and accurately, informed on the benefits of honey bees.