Common Diseases and Pests Affecting Bees in Sacramento, CA

Pesticides are an effective way to kill insect pests, but unfortunately, they can also be detrimental to beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Pollution from these pesticides can end up in our soil and water, and this has a negative effect on our pollinators. The debate continues over the true extent of the impact of pesticides on bees. To protect your colony from harm, it is best to avoid using pesticides on flowers and crops that bees may come into contact with, or if necessary, avoid using them when the plants are in bloom.

Additionally, be sure to read the pesticide labels and follow the usage guidelines provided to avoid unnecessary bee deaths. The small hive beetle is the most recent beekeeping pest to be identified in North America. It was first found in Florida in the spring of 1998. The spores of this beetle germinate in the back intestine of bee larvae, but mycelial (vegetative) growth stops until the larvae are sealed in their cells. Adult bees with deformed wings are common in honey bee colonies with high levels of infestation by varroa mites.

Beeswax diapers found in hives of weak or dead colonies and those that are stored are also subject to attack. Mice urinating in diapers and frames can make bees reluctant to use combs or clean these nests in spring. Two different viruses, chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) and acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), have been isolated from paralytic bees. MAAREC is an official activity of honey bee researchers and extension educators in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.

C. Carpenter bees are so named because they carve nests into rotting wood or untreated wood. These females are large, sturdy and bright black bees, and they are one of the most notable species found in valley gardens. Green sweat bees are very widespread and common; they may be one of the first native bees you find and one that you'll remember for their jewel-like appearance.

This bee is not native to Europe but is common and easy to identify due to its aggressive behavior and its unusual abdominal stripes; look for bands of color that don't quite meet in the center. Native bees come in all shapes and sizes; from the somewhat intimidating carpenter bee of the valley which can be up to an inch long (sometimes longer) to tiny sweat bees that are less than a quarter of an inch long. Due to changes in federal law, terramycin and other antibiotics can no longer be purchased “ready to use” to treat any livestock (yes, bees are considered livestock). Beekeepers must now obtain a prescription from a veterinarian before they can purchase antibiotics for their colonies.

In addition to diseases caused by viruses or bacteria, there are several other pests that can affect honey bee colonies. These include wax moths, hive beetles, ants, wasps, hornets, spiders, mites and more. It is important for beekeepers to monitor their hives regularly for signs of infestation or disease so that they can take appropriate action if needed. Sacramento is home to many different species of bees that can be affected by diseases or pests.

Beekeepers should be aware of the common diseases and pests that can affect their colonies so that they can take steps to protect their hives from harm. By avoiding pesticides when plants are in bloom, monitoring hives regularly for signs of infestation or disease, and obtaining a prescription from a veterinarian before purchasing antibiotics for their colonies, beekeepers can help ensure that their hives remain healthy.

Gertrude Krakowiak
Gertrude Krakowiak

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