Chalkbrood and stonebrood are two fungal diseases associated with honey bee brood. Chalkbrood, caused by Ascosphaera apis, is a common and widespread disease that can result in severe reduction of emerging worker bees and thus overall colony productivity. Stonebrood is caused by Aspergillus spp. that are rarely observed, so the impact on colony health is not very well understood. A major concern with the presence of Aspergillus in honey bees is the production of airborne conidia, which can lead to allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, pulmonary aspergilloma, or even invasive aspergillosis in lung tissues upon inhalation by humans. In the current chapter we describe the honey bee disease symptoms of these fungal pathogens. In addition, we provide research methodologies and protocols for isolating and culturing, in vivo and in vitro assays that are commonly used to study these host pathogen interactions. We give guidelines on the preferred methods used in current research and the application of molecular techniques. We have added photographs, drawings and illustrations to assist bee-extension personnel and bee scientists in the control of these two diseases.
- Honey bee