Bee Septicemia

Septicemia is a bacterial bee disease caused by Bacillus Apisepticus. It is quite a common disease within a hive but it poses a real threat only if the natural immune system of the hive inhabitants is weakened or has been subjected to a stress of some kind.

When the hive individuals are too weak the bacillus enters the bees' respiratory system and from here it arrives in the hemlymph where it multiples and leads to the individual's death through septicemia. This is a disease typical for the adult honey bees. It can outburst any time throughout a year, especially in condition of high hive humidity. The disease does not cause too many casualties and the healing might be spontaneous if the causing agents disappear. Serious outburst are quite rare, however the disease should not be treated with superficiality.


The infected individuals present a milk-like hemlymph and they are very slow in movement. They also present abdominal contractions and before dying they crawl at the hive entrance. In case of severe infestation they die in quite a large number. The dead bees decompose quickly and become very fragile with the body parts detaching at the most gentle touch.


There is no available chemical treatment for honey bees infested with Bacillus Apisepticus. It has been observed that antibiotic treatment prevent complications but does not cure septicemia. Hygiene is the best prevention measure against this honey bee disease.

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