Just to preface I am not a commercial beekeeper . . . yet! I just found one of my hives seems to have AFB. What I want to know is how the 'real' beekeepers TRUTHFULLY control AFB. Do you burn? Treat with antibiotics? If you treat with antibiotics do you do it as a prophylactic or do you do it after symptoms occur? What if anything else?
Shake them down onto foundation. Burn the old comb. Treating with antibiotics just masks the symptoms.
I agree...but use antibotic in feed to get them to draw foundation........but BURN the equipment!
Most commercials we know treat with Tylan as a preventative, and rarely or never see AFB. It isn't masking symptoms if they aren't sick to begin with. We cannot afford sick bees.
If AFB is suspected we recommend inspecting very carefully, discarding infected frames and treating the bees with Tylan to get rid of remaining spores.
Tylan will kill AFB.
You have to burn everything even the bees to get rid of AFB.:doh:
Ok this is not the the 70's you can just use terramycin to treat it.
I use terramycin twins in the spring and then again after pulling the honey in the fall. Even if I do shake my bees out in the fall. The bees mix the terramycin into the pollen stores and so it is already in the combs for my spring packages. You just can't afford to have sick or problem bees. This is so much cheaper then taking your kids to the doctor.:lookout:
I only wish the mites were this easy to take care of.
Tylan works very well. I treat spring and fall with it. I've heard of guys that have used it to eliminate AFB in diseased hives. Three treatments 7 days apart.
We treat prophylactically. Remember that works for a guy with 20 colonies may not work for a fellw with 20 thousand. I have used tylan and would recommend it. For 1 hive I would shake onto foundation and burn the equipment. For many hives I would shake on foundation
and irradiate. However there is a place 45 minutes from home that irradiates. You may not have the option. I would never ever kill the bees. I mean let's show them some respect. I have a policy where I don't harm employees 2 or 6 legged. I also point out to the 2 legged ones that since they benefit from the company policy they should see to it that the 6 legged ones benefit as well.
In my area SW PA, Tylan is recommended only for active infestations of terramycin resistant AFB. Once the AFB is cleared up, it is advisable to use Terramycin as a preventative. Our bee inspector warned not to use Tylan as a preventative measure. They are worried that using when unneccesary may develope a resistant strain of AFB. This link is to an article in 2005 Bee Culture.
Here’s what Harry Fulton, Mississippi’s State Apiarist writes, “Terramycin has been used by beekeepers since the early 1950s for the control of AFB, and the development of terramycin-resistant AFB has long been a serious concern. Without an effective antibiotic to combat AFB, the only way to deal with AFB is to destroy by burning hives and bees with the disease. Work carried out by the USDA Bee research labs in conjunction with beekeepers and state apiary personnel around the country has shown that the antibiotic, tylosin, is effective at controlling AFB and has substantial safety for both bees and human. Elanco, the producer of tylosin, will be submitting the paperwork for registration of Tylan for use in honey beehives. Mann Lake Ltd. will be selling the product in bulk and in tea bag-like individual packets. Mann Lake will not be the sole source of the product. The antibiotic will be registered only for therapeutic use (after you see the disease signs) and for use only in “dust” formulations. Jan Kochansky of the USDA Beltsville Bee Lab recently reported (Journal of Apicultural Research, vol. 43, pg. 65, 2004) on his studies of tylosin residues in sugar syrups and honey. It can take 1 to 3 years for tylosin and its first breakdown product (also effective in controlling AFB) to breakdown further in honey. Tylosin was shown to have a half-life of about 75 days in sugar syrup. Thus, if you feed it to your bees in syrup you will very likely exceed the tolerance level in your honey crop. Without question, tylosin presence and levels will be monitored by regulatory personnel.”
Hope this helps.
Alf 57's point is well taken. I have heard reports about positive tylosin results with using Tylan in liquid feed. We are only using Tylan dust in the fall and then use Terramycin as a dust in the very early spring. I haven't read any research to back this up but I suspect that Tylan may not be as effective as Terramycin against EFB.
Tylan is more effective in some cases due to resistant AFB and when treating on a large scale is the treatment of choice for most. Even though Tylosin is very effective in syrup, there is a danger of contaminating honey. Antibiotics are one of the compounds that the packers test for.
I see in the posted article from '95 that Mann Lake was going to be distributing small packets. I wonder what happened in that plan and if anyone does that yet. Tylan is so concentrated that one bottle will treat many more colonies than many people have and a smaller packet would be nice to offer.
How does Tylan kill the millions and millions of spores in the infected combs??
And preventative sure, but I would still have a hard time rescuing scaly comb. To me old hard head the risk isn't worth the cost of disposal. I get rid of all the frames of a colony with scale.
Tylan is just a bandaid. It does not cure AFB it just masks the problem and AFB does come back later. (it puts AFB in remission like a cancer). To keep the AFB from spreading to my other hives I use 1 gallon of kerosine and a match. After it is done I bury the ashes.
I burned the infected hive three days ago and man do they burn!! I plan to treat all of my other asymptomatic hives with terramycin as soon as the honey flow is over this summer. I don’t have enough time to do it now before supers go on. I never wanted to treat with antibiotics but watching that hive burn was hard. Do the ashes really need to be buried? I thought the fire destroyed the spores?
Old school says to bury it down 3 feet. I have seen operatorsthat burned but did not bury it and wonder why hives in that apiary continued getting it. When I went out there we found parts of frames that were not completly destroyed and hardly singed by flame. Re burning and burying seemed to fix the problem.
>>I just found one of my hives seems to have AFB. What I want to know is how the 'real' beekeepers TRUTHFULLY control AFB. Do you burn?
its nice to be able to keep the bees, shaking them into new foundation has been proven to work well.
Burn the equipment, get it right the heck away from everything
SHAKE AND BAKE! Believe it or not the state bee inspecter told us to do this several years ago, and I do mean several. No longer the official treatment , But I think it still works .
Tylan DOES NOT kill AFB
very dangerous discussion ongoing here.
Dr. Nick Calderone at Cornell University writes the following that concurs with Dr. Wilson’s assessment and might parallel the Argentine situation: “With the emergence of TM resistant AFB, beekeepers have no way to protect themselves from AFB. The USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, MD has done a great deal of work evaluating a number of other antibiotics for use in AFB management. The most promising is an antibiotic called TYLAN (a formulation of tylosin). It is very effective; however, the FDA is probably going to approve it for use as a treatment for active AFB, NOT as a preventative for use on healthy colonies. The results could be disastrous. Why? TYLAN, like TM, is only effective against the vegetative stage of AFB. The spores survive to germinate at a later date. If you suppress the disease, then transfer combs among colonies, all of your colonies will eventually have AFB. Then, you will need to keep all of your colonies medicated.”
(there is much more in the link)
preventative treatments discussed here are another example of how beekeeping has run amok. ask yourself are you a beekeeper or a chemical and medication applicator? :no:
this same kind of over use of antibitotics is why we have MSRA and other hard to kill super bugs.
the shake and bake method of dealing with AFB is the best method. I run thousands of colonies and never use any medications. I went cold turkey a long time ago and while the burn piles burned every spring for a few years I rarely see it anymore. Many beeks using MN hygenic and russian bees report no AFB with no treatments.
OK, ...BUT: Here where I live and operate there is a much greater exposure. All the pollination bees, the discouraged sideliners, right now there is a pile of @ 200 deadouts less than 1 mile from my shop. If I know my bees have been exposed to colonies with the brown gravy, I am going to medicate BEFORE there is a breakdown in mine. Plus of course do whatever necessary to eliminate the exposure, like move.
That is what I call preventative treatment. Doesn't make me foolish user of the tools available.
Tylan is almost too good as everything symptomatic seems to disappear.
There is no such thing as a dangerous discussion. The OP asked what real beekeepers do and there have been various answers to that question. People disagreeing is not a dangerous thing. And just because someone has a very strong opinion does not make him or her correct in every circumstance.
Originally Posted by Bud Dingler
As Tom says, when you know you might be exposed (usually by people who don't burn their equipment until they have infected the entire neighborhood) why wait for an outbreak?