It’s that time of year when many beekeepers are beginning to work their colonies during good weather breaks. As they crack the inner cover, some are trying to determine why some colonies are bursting at the seams while others are barely limping along. If there are colonies that are showing signs of crashing or are obviously impaired, the Bee Informed Partnership offers a rapid diagnostic service that evaluates varroa, nosema and 7 viruses for up to 8 healthy colonies and 8 suspect colonies. More information, including ordering and sampling protocols, can be found here: https://beeinformed.org/programs/emergency-response-kits-2/
The cost of a full kit and these diagnostic services is $299. These samples take top priority in our lab and results are provided as soon as possible (usually within a few days) back to the beekeeper. Requests for pesticide sampling can also be added in the event of a suspected pesticide residue kill. We often tell beekeepers that keeping one kit in their inventory could be as important as keeping a smoker and a hive tool handy.