Clinic of Birds and Exotic Animals

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Name of the course


Diseases of Bees - Food Hygiene and General Veterinary Medicine




Compiled by

Toporčák Juraj, DVM, PhD, Assistant Professor


            Definition of the subject

The  subject deals  with  the  basic information  about beekeeping, anatomy,  physiology, biology and mainly  diseases of  honey bees  caused by viruses, bacteria,  fungy,   parasites  and  the  environment,  their diagnosis, control and prevention.


            Position of the subject in veterinary training

The subject is a part of the professional education, because bees are farmed  animals (in Slovak Veterinary Law) and veterinary  practitioners have to control  and solve the health and the hygiene of their products.


            General objectives of the subject

The  aim  of  subject  is   to  furnish  the  students  with appropriate  knowledge   about  the  biology   of  honeybees, knowledge for the  recognition of diseases and to make  effective therapy  and protective  measures. Therefore the  teaching is  under the  following heads:  bees environment, breeding  methods, basic anatomy  and physioloy of bees, most  important diseases, recognition  of the diseases  in the field, laboratory  methods, therapy and protective measures.


            Relation of Diseases of Bees to the previous and subsequent subjects

The   previous  study   of  anatomy,   biology,  physiology, bacteriology, parasitology is the  basis for the subjects of bee breeding and diseases.


            Position in the programme, hours of instruction

13 h. lectures and 13 h. practical courses (1/1 credit) in the 7th semester.




Lectures and practical training uses field excursions to the university  apiary,  audiovisual techniques (videos, slides),  museum samples, departmental  samples for dissection.



End-of-term test about diseases bees, anatomy, toxicology, erradication, etc.




Course curriculum (detailed teaching program)



List of Lectures



1. History of eekeeping                                                                            1 hour.
2. Beekeeping, the importance of bees to agriculture and ecology              1 hour.
3. Colony in a zoological system                                                               1 hour.
4. Extending basic types of bees                                                               1 hour.
5. Colony - the composition and behavior of bees                                     1 hour.
6. Division of labor and pheromones                                                         1 hour.
7. Anatomy and physiology of bees - external skeleton, digestive, respiratory

and circulatory system                                                                              1 hour.
8. Non-infectious diseases of bees and brood                                           1 hour.
9. Toxicology - poisoning of bees and brood and poisoning caused by 

pesticides industrial production                                                                 1 hour.
10. Biological defense mechanisms of the colonies to diseases and pests    1 hour.
11. Importance of breeding of bumble bees                                              1 hour.
12. National Programme for the eradication of American foulbrood           1 hour.
13. The impact of medication use for honey                                              1 hour.

 Syllabus practical exercises

1. Apiary, bee hive, beekeeping equipment – hive and composition           1 hour.
2. Anatomy and physiology of bees - viewing differences in mother,

drones and workers, autopsy bees                                                            1 hour.
3. Diseases of brood  - diagnosis - laboratory diagnosis of American

foulbrood, cultivation, staining, biochemical tests                                        1 hour.
4. Diseases of brood  - diagnosis - laboratory diagnosis of European foulbrood, cultivation, painted, biochemical tests                                        1 hour.
5. Diseases of brood  - and chalky and stone brood - agents, clinical symptoms, laboratory diagnosis, prevention, therapy,

animal-protection measures                                                                       1 hour.
6. Disease of adult bees: viral diseases - agents, clinical symptoms,

prevention, therapy - animal-protection measures                                      1 hour.

7. Disease of adult bees: fungus and protozoa - laboratory diagnosis of         Nosema and Amoeba disease - agents, clinical symptoms, prevention, 

therapy - animal-protection measures, separation of digestive systems 

and Malpighiho glands, making the preparations for the diagnosis               1 hour.
8. Disease of adult bees - Acarapis disease - agents, clinical symptoms, 

prevention and therapy, animal-protection measures, separation of spiracles, preparation of slides of  spiracles                                                1 hour.
9. Disease of adult bees - Varroa mite - agent, clinical symptoms,

prevention and therapy, animal-protection measures, detection

methods of V. destructor in colony, debries and her brood,

differentiation of the various stages of V. destructor                                    1 hour.
10. Disease of adult bees – Tropilaelaps spp. and Small hive beetle

- agents, clinical symptoms, prevention and therapy,

animal-protection measures                                                                        1 hour.
11. Pests of bee                                                                                         1 hour.
12. Diseases of the bumble bees                                                                 1 hour.
13. Clinical inspection of the colony - the composition of the colony

(the brood, mother, workers, drones), changes in the brood, packaging

and shipment of samples                                                                             1 hour.

Test circuits for GVM and BsC
1. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) in the ecosystem.
2. The importance of bees in agriculture.
3. The importance of bumble bees.
4. Biological defense mechanisms of colony.
5. Sexual dimorphism of honeybee.
6. The distribution of bee diseases.
7. Sacbrood.
8. American foulbrood.
9. Foulbrood foulbrood.
10. Ascosferosis.
11. Aspergillosis.
12. Viral diseases of bees.

13. Septicemia.
14. Melanosis of queens.
15. Nosema disease.

16. Amoeba disease.
17. Varroa mite.
18. Tracheal mite.
19. Tropilaelaps spp. and Small hive beetle
20. Braula coeca.
21. Diarrhea and constipation of bees.
22. Poisoning of bees.
23. Galleria  mellonella.

24. National Programme for the Eradication of American foulbrood.
25. Dangerous Foulbrood disease.
26. Transfer of bee diseases.
27. The method of disinfection at the bee diseases.
28. Clinical examination of colony.
29. Collection and transmission of bee samples.
30. Basic biological concepts in Apis mellifera.
31. Digestive system.

32. Malpighi gland.
33. Respiratory system.
34. Circulation apparatus.
35. Preparation of samples for examination.
36. Examination of Nosema.
37. Examination of Tracheal mite.
38. Entomoses.

                                                                      doc. MVDr. Juraj Toporčák, PhD.

                                                                                      tutor of subject

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