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Thread: lesson learned

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    265

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    what a mess i have! the hive i was given (for doing the removal) was a big major mistake and a total waste of my time and gas money. it was about an hour away and i was suppose to be picking up one hive that was stacked 5 high - through someone it was told me that it was a hive that had been there for 3 yrs and should be packed full of honey!

    well all certainly sounded great - until i got there. the very old and very rotten 5 super high hive sat in the weeds, the bottom had rotted to just about nothing. it was in such poor shape that i thought for sure no bees were in it - also there was a large ant colony on the top of the inner cover, and i thought it odd that the bees if in there would let them get to such a large population before evicting them.

    after cracking the inner cover a few bees did emerge and so we went about putting them on the truck to take home even though they were in such poor shape. i didnt dig into the hive before taking it because it was late and the bees shouldve all been home so i was hoping to not leave any behind. they had told me after it was all loaded that the hive had survived thru a flood and she said she was surprised that the waters didnt take it away.

    well since i was unsure of diseases and what not i desided to screen the bottom off of the two top supers and just put lids on the two other (empty) supers. i got over to my dads to check them all out and realized that my bees at his house had managed to get into all the boxes and was robbing it out! what a mess now i have to still determine if the hive had diseases and now also treat my two good hives at his house.

    i wish i wouldve realized the extent of the damage before i brought it all home, as they say...live and learn!
    it took me about 2 hours total to dig into the rotted frames of 1 deep and 1 medium super (all frames were eaten away by carpenter ants (tons of them in there) so it was a complete mess from the start, not to mention all the robber bees continually around me (i finally sprayed them with the hose). so after all of that i ended up with about a handful of workers and a queen, they most likely were dying off due to disease(s) but im unsure of what so far. i saved two frames of brood (for to examine), the queen and 3 workers to take care of her (unsure of what i was going to do with her but it doesnt matter now cause she died last night) , we burned the rest of the mess - ants and all.

    what have i learned.......plenty!

    now on to the disease(s) hoping that someone can determine what they might have...
    almost all the capped cells (with alot of them punctured) had brown watery larvae/pupae in it, with some slighty stringy. no real nasty smell but a slight yeasty-sour smell. is this AFB or EFB or something totally different, im worried about my other hives now!

    from what i could see the queen had just started laying eggs again, most of the newly laid eggs were probably 3-5 days old only - there were no other stages of larvae uncapped.

    thanks for your help, Deanna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Attleboro, MA, USA
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Sounds like American Foulbrood. Here is a link to some info about it.
    http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/bkCD/Bee_Diseases/AFB.html

    Sorry to hear about that mess. I've definitely learned a lesson from this. If I buy or am given any existing hives to inspect them thoroughly before moving them to my property..

    I hope your existing hives are ok..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

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    Dee,

    The general concensus is that ALL hives have the AFB spores. I wouldnt worry about your hives getting it. What I am told is usually only when a hive is very stressed does it get AFB. Since your probably has the spores to begin with and your bees arent showing sign of the disease then your probably fine.

    I would take that quees and the hand ful of bees and put them into a NUC, give them a frame or two of capped brood if you can spare them and help this new colony back to a strong hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

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    oregonsparkie,
    Its true all hives have the AFB spore. The outbreak happens when the existing hive allows dead brood to fester, through secondary deseases or other stresses on the hive that allow normal housekeeping and overall health to deteriate to the piont that the desease can get a foothold.

    The other way to spread the desease is to bring into a rather healthy hive, a concentrated amount of spores. This by robbing of pollen and/or honey.

    It is the growth of the spore in a unhealthy hive, or the concentrated amount through robbing that spreads into a healthy hive.

    Dee, Contact Glen Crimbring at (C)717-645-2448 and have him take a look. He is your state inspector for Bradford county. He will run the test and make recommendations and options that YOU the beekeeper choose.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    833
    Oregonsparkie “The general concensus is that ALL hives have the AFB spores.”

    This is absolutely wrong. We (several beekeepers from our club) send brood to a bee institute for an AFB test because there was an AFB case approx 40km away.
    I must say we hold our brood combs not longer than approx 5 years than they have to go into a solar smelter. That mean we have not the old crap (breeding places for any disease) in our colonies.
    We got the result there was NO AFB spores in the combs all tests are negative.

    @ Dee I never ever would save anything from that rotten hive. Disinfect your tools to make sure the AFB pest can’t come into your hives. Fire up the junk including the bees it’s much less pain than burning your whole bee yard. You can be lucky but it’s approx 50/50.
    Before I hear something for dickm again I will say …IT’S UP TO YOU!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

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    Axtmann,
    What were the perimeters for the tests that you mentioned?

    The AFB test we conduct has to do with trying to promote growth/cultures in a dish. This can also be tested then for resistance for antibiotics, etc. I ask, because we know that an individual cell must be given between 30 and 50 spores to see any kind of outbreak and growth. Below this there is not normal growth.

    Was the test looking for AFB growth or were they actually looking for the spore itself, which would be mind-boggling to have to look for individual spores in comb.

    Our tests can come back negative, and when they do, it merely means that the brood tested did not promote growth under testing. It does not however suggest that no spores were present. I ask whether they tested for AFB growth, or did they actually certify your come 100% free of the spore itself?

    And yes, I will acknowledge the possibility that there may be hives out there that have no spore. Perhaps due to your management practice.
    But here, and after looking, we assume that all hives have the spore. Even if 1% does not, its better to conduct yourself as if your part of the 99% who do.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    265

    Post

    i did end up calling PA apiary inspection in harrisburg and we're playing phone tag, i just need to give him my county name and he'll have this (my) area inspector come and inspect the two frames that i saved for inspection.

    as stated at the end of my first post i did already burn everything except the queen and 3 workers - of which all were dead this morning.

    its real scarry to think that just one bad hive can damage all the rest!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

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    Dee,
    Dennis VanEngelsdorp is the Acting state apiarist. I know Monday he was in Pittsburgh and his schedule is much. When you do talk to him, he will tell you to talk to Glenn Crimbring who under Dennis' direction, works directly for Pa. Agriculture Dept, Region #2, which covers your county.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    833

    Post

    BjornBee
    I have no idea what they have don in the lab after more than 4 weeks we were waiting for a result. We received a note and it told us – our samples are free of AFB and no spoors have been found.

    I think the biggest risk is a dump where bees can find old dirty honey jars and get infected with all kind of diseases.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    265

    Post

    well the area state inspector came today, he's going to be calling me back as well as set up a day to inspect all my hives early next week
    im hoping all goes well
    Deanna

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Good luck Dee,

    Im sure everything will be just fine....

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