it means, 'my thoughts exactly'.
it means, 'my thoughts exactly'.
Ha Ha! I love this thread. :D
Having said all that, doesn't mean I think it's good practise, I wouldn't do it myself. I just referenced a thread about it that's all.
I'm no expert on treatment free nor claim to be. What I do know has been learned from my own treatment free bees, and whatever I've been able to learn from the Treatment Free forum, which to be honest, is precious little. Because nobody on the treatment free forum actually knows much about it, the general vibe is "I don't know how it works and don't want to, just let bees be bees, just do it". Success is defined as not loosing every bee you've got. Not a view I could subscribe to.
I've also read Dee Lusby, which is good in that she delves into things in much greater detail than anyone on the Treatment Free forum. She has a lot of theories and hypothesis, which make interesting reading. But nobody else has been able to replicate what she has done commercially despite many trying. So I have to wonder if it's also about her bees, and her environment.
Yes well, as nobody seems to know, I'll have to go with you, Ace. ;)
Just a few rambling observations. Tetracycline is commonly used in many if not most commercial operations and has been for at least 40 years. I'm not saying that is good just stating what I know to be true. During my years in beekeeping I have seen less and less afb. Not sure when we had our last case of it, at least 3 years maybe considerably longer and such was not the case decades ago. I can't explain this, is it possible that the same hygienic behavior that is being bred into bees might be the reason. Or put another way, is it possible that hygienic behavior might trump resistance. I know Charles Mraz was working on this angle a long time ago I even bought some of his queens. Thoughts anyone?
I have yet to see AFB here. Back in the '70's I used to see some. Had to burn hives back then. I use no antibiotics and hope I never have to.
in hindsight, and given the fact that the spores never really go away, i think the aussies got this one right.
In our county in Massachusetts, which is in the middle of the state and goes all to the north and south borders, we have almost no AFB....we also don't have a lot of large beekeepers, but we do have pollination bees come in and through the state.
In 1976, I've been told there was about 40% AFB rate. A new bee inspector burned hives almost daily, and kept it up....until our recent funding issues in the state, he has been an inspector ever since. He ruthlessly tracks down the source of any infection...usually only 1 or less incidents in a year...most beekeepers here couldn't identify it unless it was really obvious.
We don't have manditory burning...it can be controlled with TM and Tylan (I don't believe Tylan is approved for prophlactic use anywhere in the states...but folks openly use it that way). Most folks around here don't treat with TM propholactically anymore (best I can tell). We also have an irradiation program in the state, so used or infected equipment (even comb) can be reused. I don't think all the surrounding states and counties do as well in this regard. Best I can tell, we have it good here in regards to AFB, and it is essentially because of one person. If all government employees were that effective at what they are supposed to do, I'd be keeping bees on Mars by now.
If I recall correctly the original wording on the Tylan label was that it was "for the cure of American Foulbrood". For the cure? I have not read the label, but I sure hope it doesn't say that anymore.
It sounds like your Inspector was given the freedom to do his job.
How does someones bees get AFB to start out with? Where does it come from?
In nature, it comes from robbing an infected hive that has been weakened or died from the disease. So there was a balance. But with modern beekeeping it is transferred by beekeepers. We have a lot of hives all next to each other, and we transfer equipment between hives. This tips the balance in favor of the disease, so we also have to take pro-active measures to control the disease.
So then its kinda like the flu?