The current VIN date & time: Eastern

VIN EXOT114-0322: Honey Bees - Pests and Diseases

The lectures for this course will be presented in an audio format using a webinar platform.

Presenter: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
Course Open: March 4-April 6, 2022
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Sundays, March 13, 20, and 27, 2022; 2:00-3:30 pm ET (USA) World Clock Converter
Total CE Credit: 4.5
RACE Category: 4.5 hours Medical

Skip to Enrollment

Course Information:
In this course we will cover common honey bee pests and diseases. We will discuss how to visually identify colonies that are in good health, as well as signs of disease. Participants will learn how to identify signs of bacterial disease, carry out field and lab testing, and how to best manage and control disease. We will cover appropriate antibiotic use and filling out orders for honeybee colonies. We will also cover the biology and life cycle of the varroa mite, which is currently causing most of the death of honey bee colonies in the country. Participants will learn how to monitor and manage so they can help beekeepers develop integrated pest management plans. We will discuss pros and cons of each management tool on the market to help determine a plan to keep bees safe in different scenarios. In the final course we will discuss other pathogens including fungal and microsporidial disease and cover biosecurity for beekeeping operations.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to
  • list the major diseases of honey bees.
  • identify signs of diseased adult bees.
  • identify healthy brood.
  • identify visual signs of brood disease.
  • list the field tests for diagnosis.
  • describe treatment options for disease.
  • outline the steps to writing a VFD or prescription for a honey bee colony.
  • outline the steps for antibiotic application in honey bee colonies.
  • understand the biology of Varroa destructor.
  • explain multiple methods of monitoring for the varroa mite.
  • understand basic principles of Integrated Pest Management.
  • diagnose Parasitic Mite Syndrome.
  • understand varroa population dynamics.
  • identify methods for varroa mite control.
  • diagnose a colony that has died from varroa mite associated disease.
  • develop a biosecurity plan for a honey bee operation.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic VIN CE course is open for enrollment to veterinarians and veterinary support staff actively interested in the identification, treatment, and management of honey bee pests and pathogens.
Accreditation: This course is approved for 4.5 hours of continuing education credit by RACE for veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists. (RACE 20-861059)

Course Agenda:

Week 1 (Real Time Session March 13, 2022): General Honey Bee Diseases
Presenters: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
In this session we will cover basic principles of honey bee health and disease. We will identify common pests and pathogens and discuss diagnosis and treatment options. We will identify how to tell if a colony is in good health, or if further action is needed. We will discuss biosecurity measures and disease control and provide you with resources on how you can help develop a biosecurity and disease prevention plan for beekeepers.

Week 2 (Real Time Session March 20, 2022): Bacterial Diseases
Presenters: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
In this session we will focus on the two main bacterial diseases – American foulbrood and European foulbrood. We will cover visual identification, field tests, and laboratory diagnostics. We will cover when antibiotics should be used, what types to use, and how they can be ordered and applied. We will also cover disease prevention and non-antibiotic-based management strategies.

Week 3 (Real Time Session March 27, 2022): Varroa Mite Management
Presenters: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
The varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is a terrible pest of honey bee colonies, and it is a threat to every hive in the country. Most beekeepers struggle with managing this pest, and most lose many of their colonies each year because they are over run with mites. In this class, we will cover the biology of this pest, and integrated pest management strategies.

Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course. To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

Enrollment is closed.

Tuition: Member $104 ($94 early bird special if enrolled by February 18, 2022)
Non-Member $183 ($165 early bird special if enrolled by February 18, 2022)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

* Enroll in 2 or more Honey Bee courses on the same day and receive a 15% discount.
  • EXOT111-1221: Honey Bees – Working with Honey Bees and Beekeepers
  • EXOT112-0122: Honey Bees – Reproduction
  • EXOT113-0222: Honey Bees – Feeding and Care
  • EXOT114-0322: Honey Bees – Pests and Diseases

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on March 11, 2022 at 5 pm ET (USA) or when the maximum number of participants is reached.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email . Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN office 800-846-0028 ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the VIN Course Catalog.

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Director

VIN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357