Beekeeping FAQ's


Apiary Inspections
The Rangel Lab is not involved in any apiary inspection services in Texas. For information regarding apiary inspections, please contact the Texas Apiary Inspection Service.

Mark Dykes

Chief Apiary Inspector
Department of Entomology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-2745
Phone: (979) 845-9713
mdykes@tamu.edu

Bee Removal Service By County
If you are in need of bee removal services, please see http://txbeeinspection.tamu.edu/bee-removal/  to find a current list of the people that have received bee transportation permits by the Texas Apiary Inspection Service.

Testing Bees/Bee Products For Pesticide Contamination
Our lab does not test bees for potential pesticide-caused dead-outs. To get your bees or bee products tested for pesticide residues, please contact the following person at the USDA lab in Gastonia, NC:

Jonathan Barber
Laboratory Supervisor
USDA AMS S&T Laboratory Approval & Testing Division
National Science Laboratories – Gastonia
801 Summit Crossing Place
Suite B
Gastonia, NC  28054

E-Mail: Jonathan.Barber@ams.usda.gov

Main:     704-867-3873
Direct:   704-833-1523
Mobile:  704-838-6239
Fax:       704-853-2800

Honey bee samples can also be sent to the USDA bee lab in Beltsville, MD.  To do so, please visit http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7472 or follow these steps:

How to Submit Samples

General Instructions

  • Beekeepers, bee businesses, and regulatory officials may submit samples.
  • Samples are accepted from U.S. states and territories, and from Canada; samples are NOT accepted from other countries. For samples originating from Canada click here.
  • 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 Bart Smith by phone at (301) 504-8821 or e-mail: bart.smith@ars.usda.gov

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
Bldg. 306 Room 316
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center -
East Beltsville, MD 20705

Bee Related Frequently Asked Questions
There are many excellent sources of honey bee biology information posted on the internet. It is not our intension to duplicate those efforts.

Our first of objective is to provide quick & easy-to-read information for urgent honey bee problems on the Bee Safety Quick Guide and Bee Proof Your Property pages.

We have posted answers to your most Frequently Asked Questions sent to us over many years. This is a work in progress and will change as your questions change. Before you contact us, check to see if your question has been asked and answered on the Frequently Asked Questions page. If you need to ask a different question then click on Contact to send us an email. We read all your messages and answer them in order of urgency.

Texas is among the largest in the USA for number of members belonging to state and/or local beekeeper association organizations. You will find a link to the Texas Beekeepers Association and its local clubs on the Beekeeper Links page. If you are a new or veteran beekeeper you are strongly encouraged to join the Texas Beekeepers Association and the local beekeeper club in your area. A link to the Texas Apiary Inspection Service is also provided for Texas beekeepers seeking regulatory information.

Many of the questions we receive come from outside Texas, so we have provided links to beekeepers in your state (at least the ones we could find) on the Beekeeper Links page.