...holes on capped brood...is this AFB?

Hi there complete an inspection over the weekend, and I found this capped broods with tiny holes on the top part of 2 frames…is this early stage of AFB? Thanks for your help…

It would be nice to see a clear photo of the whole frame. The only hole I can see are where the bees haven’t finished capping one brood.

Hi Jeff here are the mark ups of the area of concerns…unfortunately I haven’t got any further picts…hoping these versions are helping out…

Hi @Waldats , that’s the hole I was referring to. To me, it looks like the bees haven’t quite finished capping that brood cell.

Just thinking… I’m not sure if AFB has made it to Perth yet.

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Jeff would reckon checking on next weekend for signs of development?

Yes for sure. It would be good to view a whole frame. I don’t think you have to worry about AFB because I don’t think it’s over your way yet. @AdamMaskew might have a better idea about that.


Yes we have AFB in WA and it is reportable. Here is a link to the DPIRD (Agriculture Dept). Preventing spread of American foulbrood disease | Agriculture and Food

I agree with Jeff that it appears to be “normal” If in doubt do a rope test.


just to be sure: holes in the capping are normal to see before the cell has been fully capped- and when a bee is emerging. Also in cases of ‘bald brood’ where wax moth have burrowed through comb (these can appear in lines). Each thing can case the hole to look slightly different. So seeing the odd hole is not a certain sign of AFB by any means. Other signs to look for are a nasty smell, sunken cappings, cappings that look greasy, a dwindling population, dead larvae/pupae.

Depending on how long the infection has been going on for you can see one or multiple signs. If you examine a cell with a hole in it- you can use the match stick test. If the pupae comes out stringy, sticky, smelly and milk-coffee colored you could have a problem. Older dead larvae from AFB can appear as little ‘half moons’ of dark brown material stuck to the side of cell walls.