European foulbrood

European foulbrood

Photo by Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), Crown Copyright

  • A brood disease caused by a bacterium that is ingested by honey bee larvae causing death by starvation
  • Symptoms include spotted brood pattern intermingled with healthy brood, sunken and greasy cappings and a foul smell
  • Infected larvae die before their cells are capped in a twisted position and become yellow-brown
  • Incidence is usually greater when the colony is under stress due to cool weather or poor nutrition
  • Present throughout Australia (except WA, NT and Kangaroo Island)


Scientific name: Melissococcus plutonius
EPPRD Category:
Life Form: Bacteria

Pest Documents

FS: fact sheet

CP: contingency plan

DP: diagnostic protocol