Beekeeper troubleshooting is our specialty.

A colony of bees is complex and at times some beekeeper troubleshooting is called for when they need some help.

Bees have a mind of their own, they don’t read the textbooks and they certainly aren’t on facebook.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture can assist beekeepers with:

Brood Disease

Brood diseases such as American foulbrood (AFB), European foulbrood (EFB) and chalkbrood are common throughout Australia.

American Foul Brood is, without doubt, the most serious brood disease of honey bees that you are likely to encounter.

AFB is a notifiable disease under the NSW Apiaries Act 1985.  Suspected or confirmed cases of AFB must be reported the NSW Department of Primary Industries within 24 hrs.  We can assist you with the diagnosis and control of AFB.  We recommend that you watch the AFB videos on the NSW DPI honeybee website for a good overview of AFB.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture can assist you with all aspects of prevention, identification and treatment of American Foul Brood.

European Foul Brood (EFB) is not as serious a disease as American Foul Brood however it can still cause significant problems if not identified and treated.

EFB can be difficult to differentiate from AFB.  EFB can be treated with oxytetracycline hydrochloride (OTC) which can be obtained on prescription from a veterinarian at the discretion of an Apiary Officer from the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Many beekeepers have had success in treating EFB by requeening and improving the nutrition of the affected hives.  We can assist you with the diagnosis and control of EFB.  The NSW DPI has a good fact sheet about EFB.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture can assist you with all aspects of prevention, identification and treatment of European Foul Brood.

Chalk Brood is a fungal disease of brood.

Chalkbrood will rarely kill a colony of bees however it weakens hives and makes them more susceptible to other pests and diseases.  It becomes noticeable when the bees eject the dried, mummified remains of larvae from the hive entrance.  The “mummies” can also be visible in the brood cells.  Chalkbrood can be managed by removing affected frames and not allowing ejected mummies to build up in the hive or at the hive entrance.  Good nutrition and re-queening with resistant a hygienic queen are perhaps the best way to deal with this disease in conjunction with strong barrier systems.

Plant Health Australia has a good overview of chalkbrood,  it’s prevention, identification and control.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture can assist you with beekeeper troubleshooting and all aspects of prevention, identification and treatment of chalkbrood.

Honeybee Pests

Small Hive Beetle

Small Hive Beetle (SHB) is one of the most devastating pests that the Australian beekeeping industry has had to deal with.  This pest was introduced into Australia in 2002 and has changed beekeeping practices significantly along the east coast of Australia. Small hive beetles damage beehives when the larvae burrow through frames consuming bee eggs, brood, pollen and honey.  Yeast released by the larvae cause the stored honey to ferment and run out of the frames Affected hives are said to be slimed.  Where hives are badly slimed the bees will abscond and the frames are unusable.   Management of SHB is through a combination of a high bee to comb ratio (strong hives) and a number of commercially available and home made traps that provide a refuge for beetles but trap them and prevent them from getting access back into the hive.

The NSW DPI has some great resources in relation to small hive beetle management.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture can assist you with all aspects of prevention, identification and management of small hive beetle.

Aggressive hives

Agressive bees are a serious safety issue for beekeepers and anyone in the vicinity of a hive particularly if that person has an allergy to stings.  It is good practice to identify and requeen aggressive hive with a gentler, more docile strain of bee when a hive becomes difficult to manage.  Tackling a vicious beehive can be daunting for beginners and experienced beekeepers alike.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture have the beekeeper troubleshooting skills to manage and requeen hives with a poor temperament.


Swarming is a natural instinct of honeybees.  In the northern parts of New South Wales, bees tend to start swarming from the start of August right through to the end of summer.  Honey bees get the urge to swarm when the hive becomes crowded with brood, bees and honey.  The old queen and most of the field bees leave the hive in a large swarm and settle in a convenient place nearby while scout bees go and seek out a new home for the colony. Swarms tend to take off on a warm sunny day from mid morning to mid afternoon.  Good beekeepers try to stay one step ahead of their bees to prevent swarming because a swarm takes the queen and most of the field bees away which tends to deplete the hive population and reduces honey production.

Swarming can be prevented by requeening regularly with young queens and ensuring the the brood box is not congested with brood and honey in spring.

We also offer beekeeping courses from beginners to advanced.  We can also help you with your Flow hive.

Contact us.

beekeeper troubleshooting