The USDA is here to help beekeepers!

Submission of Samples for Diagnosis:

Beekeepers, bee businesses, and regulatory officials may submit samples. Samples are accepted from the United States and its territories; samples are not accepted from other countries. 

Include a short description of the problem along with your name, address, phone number or e-mail address. 

There is no charge for this service. For additional information, contact Sam Abban by phone at (301) 504-8821 or e-mail:

How to Send Adult Honey Bees

  • Send at least 100 bees and if possible, select bees that are dying or that died recently. Decayed bees are not satisfactory for examination.
  • Bees should be placed in and soaked with 70% ethyl, methyl, or isopropyl alcohol as soon as possible after collection and packed in leak-proof containers. 
  • USPS, UPS, and FedEx do no accept shipments containing alcohol. Just prior to mailing samples, pour off all excess alcohol to meet shipping requirements.
  • Do NOT send bees dry (without alcohol).

How to send brood samples

A comb sample should be at least 2 x 2 inches and contain as much of the dead or discolored brood as possible. No honey should be present in the sample.

The comb can be sent in a paper bag or loosely wrapped in a paper towel, newspaper, etc. and sent in a heavy cardboard box. Avoid wrappings such as plastic, aluminum foil, waxed paper, tin, glass, etc. because they promote decomposition and the growth of mold. 

If a comb cannot be sent, the probe used to examine a diseased larva in the cell may contain enough material for tests. The probe can be wrapped in paper and sent to the laboratory in an envelope.

Send samples to: 
Bee Disease Diagnosis Bee Research Laboratory
10300 Baltimore Ave. BARC-East Bldg. 306 Room 316
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center - East
Beltsville, MD 20705