Honey Bee Diagnostic Services in Manitoba

Honey Bee Diagnostic Services in Manitoba

To all beekeepers,

Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (ARD) is now offering diagnostic services directly to beekeepers.   In cooperation with the Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association, ARD’s Veterinary Diagnostic Services (VDS) is piloting a new service of direct billing beekeeping clients for laboratory tests conducted on beekeeper submitted samples.  Previously, beekeeper submitted samples would have to be associated with a Veterinary Clinic for billing purposes.

Although we strongly encourage beekeepers to work with a licensed veterinarian in order to access all the honey bee diagnostic services VDS has to offer, if you are only interested in lab tests such as Varroa mite counts, Nosema disease identification and spore counts or viral analysis, then working through a veterinarian is not absolutely required. Testing for diseases such as American Foulbrood (AFB) or European Foulbrood (EFB) would require a veterinarian to prescribe antimicrobial treatment, so managing these diseases should be done in association with a veterinarian.

Beekeepers wanting to submit a sample directly to VDS, must make an appointment prior to dropping off the sample. Payment for diagnostic services must be done when the sample is submitted. At the time of the appointment, a draft invoice of fees and taxes will be provided to the person dropping off the sample. At this time, only cheques payable to the “Minister of Finance” will be accepted as onsite pre-payment for diagnostic services. Otherwise, you would have to go through a veterinary clinic in order to be billed for these services. Copies of lab reports will be sent to the beekeeping client, Provincial Apiarist and veterinary clinic, if the beekeeping client is working with a veterinarian.  VDS will not be providing treatment recommendations with the diagnostic results.  Please discuss your lab results with the Provincial Apiarist or your veterinarian if your sample was submitted through a Veterinary Clinic.

If you submit your sample through a veterinary clinic, please discuss this with your veterinarian beforehand, as some clinics may use couriers that will not ship live bees. If you are working with a veterinarian, VDS will bill the veterinary clinic for lab services and the clinic will bill the beekeeper. This is the billing approach used by VDS for all animal industries. For a list of available veterinarians please visit: manitobabee.org/hive/2551/list-of-veterinarians-willing-to-work-with-honey-bees/.

For complete details on honey bee diagnostic services offered by VDS, please consult the following VDS documents:

  1. Honey Bee Laboratory Services manual
  2. Instructions for Completing the Honey Bee Form
  3. Honey Bee Form

To book an appointment to drop off a honey bee sample, please contact:

VDS is located in the Agricultural Services Complex on the University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus at 545 University Crescent.

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