About this key

This Key to honey bee health conditions is a Lucid key. Lucid keys have four panels: two “Features” panels on the left, and two “Entities” panels on the right.

The four panels of the Lucid key

The terms “Feature” and “Entity” are generic, because Lucid keys are built for identifying many types of living organisms and diagnosing many diseases, crop disorders, soil types, and more.

In The BeeMD Lucid key, “Feature” refers to a sign or indication a beekeeper may observe in or around their hive(s), while an “Entity” is a condition or diagnosis—what is actually happening in the hive.

When you first open the key, you will see only one Feature with two “states” or choices. Select the state that matches your situation by checking its box. After you select this first state, several things will happen:

  • More Features will appear below the first Feature.
  • The Feature and state you’ve chosen will show in the left bottom panel entitled “Features Chosen.”
  • Lucid’s algorithm will discard some Entities because they don’t match your selected state, and place them in the “Entities Discarded” panel.
  • The Entities not discarded will still be in the “Entities Remaining” panel.
The Lucid interface after a Feature state has been selected. Note the state box (yellow arrow) where a check mark is placed to select the state. Also note the page icon (yellow arrow) you can click on to get to more information in a fact sheet or “about” page.


  • Only when selecting a state from the first Feature will other Features appear.
  • You can select more than one state in a Feature.

Each Entity in this key is linked to a fact sheet about the condition or diagnosis, or to an “about” page that includes information about the condition or diagnosis. Click on the page icon (see yellow arrow in image above) to access these resources.

This key’s Feature states and Entities are illustrated! Click on a thumbnail image to enlarge it and see its caption.

Recommended tips

When using this key, while you may get to one potential diagnosis with just a few Feature state selections, if there are multiple potential conditions in “Entities Remaining,” review each before taking action. At times, different diagnoses may have similar characteristics or signs, so it is important to make sure you find the diagnosis or diagnoses that best match what you are seeing in your hive(s). You can also go back through the steps you took to get to these diagnoses to ensure all Feature states you selected are accurate.

Note that the images illustrating the Feature states don’t necessarily match every possible way a state could look, but rather offer an example of how it might look.

Use the fact sheets and “about” pages that are linked to the Entities to learn more about the diagnoses and help you in making decisions. These informational pages contain useful details regarding the pest, pathogen, behavior, or other event or situation you are seeing.