How to Submit samples to the US Department of Agriculture Bee Research Lab.

Samples of Adult Bees: Send at least 100 bees and if possible, select bees that are dying or have recently died. Decayed bees are not satisfactory. Place bees in 70% ethyl, methyl, or isopropyl alcohol as soon as possible and packed in leak-proof containers.

Samples of Brood Comb:Comb sample should be at least 2*2 inches and should contain as much 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 growth of mold. If comb can’t be sent, then the probe used to examine a diseased larvae may contain enough material for tests. The probe can be wrapped in paper and sent to the lab in an envelope.

How to address a sample: Include a short description of problem along with name, address, phone or e-mail.


Send to: Bee Disease Diagnosis

Bee Research Lab

Bldg. 476 Room 204

Beltsville Agricultural Research Center-East

Beltsville, MD 20705


also the Carl Hayden Research Center in Tucson AZ

USDA Honeybee Breeding Research