A black Labrador retriever trained late last year, Klinker is part of the department’s strategy to detect diseased bee colonies. Specifically, she’s looking for American foulbrood, the most common and destructive bacterial disease facing Maryland’s honeybees.
Klinker’s normal workday consists of walking along rows of hives. When she smells bacteria, she sits, alerting her handler.
A recent Washington Post story described American foulbrood as a bacteria that forms microscopic spores that can survive for decades, spreading quickly from hive to hive, killing bee larvae. If the infection is caught early, the hive can be treated with antibiotics. If not, the hive usually must be destroyed.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alert, apiary, bacterial, bee, bee dog, bees, colonies, colony, department of agriculture, detect, disease, hive-sniffing, hives, honeybees, inspection, inspector, klinker, labrador retriever, maryland, smell, sniff