until tonight I was not aware that the OSBA has a message board. A question from a couple of weeks ago was about moldy combs.
The consensus seems to be: This is Oregon and things get moldy, the bees will clean it up when the weather changes. Don't panic until you see ferns growing on the combs. Ventilate to reduce moisture.
I'm hoping their board will be a good source for information on local conditions.
we are getting new bees from luckiamute bees. the owner is really helpful and has a similar philosophy to us about beekeeping ie we want to avoid using toxic chemicals. we did think about getting one nuc or package from ruhl , just to compare.
re foulbrood. I am pretty sure that isn't what happened with our bees. I got the hive open a day or two after it died (I was monitoring ti through the stormy weather... listening for a hum), and the brood all looked normal, and the hive smelled so good I wanted to eat it all right there. I don't know who has bees nearby, but there must be more than one hive, because I have had a lot of little "visitors" these past few days when I've been cleaning up and organizing the hive stuff! At first I felt like they were rubbing it in that all my bees were dead, then I felt encouraged and kind of enjoyed having them busily working all waround me!
Hi guys (gals)
sorry to be the wet blanket, but IF you have AFB you are not going to get rid of it by feeding terramycin- it is a bacteial disease that forms spores that are viable for 50+ years in wax / propolis. Terramycin will suppress it but when the bees take honey stored in the comb containing AFB spores to the next generation of brood, they will die AND, if there is any robbing going on (or drift) the spores will be spread around and infect other hives. The wet weather only stresses the bees and weakens them, increasing their suceptibility to all diseases. The mold will not hurt them at all and they can handle that fine if they are healthy. Many if not most states require AFB contaminated hives to be destroyed by burning. Another possibility might be tracheal mites which become a problem over winter as the colony decreases in size. If it is established now, you will probably not be able to save them, but menthol / grease patties MIGHT help. A sample of the dead bees can be sent to the Beltsville, MD bee lab to diagnose the Tmites and /or there is a test kit for AFB available from Dadant.
I hate to be all poopy pants but I'm well aware that I'm stuck with AFB and there is no cure for it. Since all the hives and bees in this apiary were new 2 years ago and I breed my own queens, the AFB most have come along with a "visiting bee" aka robber.
I have spent way too much time researching AFB folowing its detection in my hive. Long and short, treat it with terramyacin, keep your hives strong, and pray for a medical breakthrough.
In regards to the old school method of torching hives that have AFB, you can burn my hives when you pry them away from my cold dead fingers.
I would love to know how many hives REALLY have AFB in them.
[This message has been edited by oregonbeekeeper (edited February 19, 2004).]
"In regards to the old school method of torching hives that have AFB, you can burn my hives when you pry them away from my cold dead fingers. "
Sorry Dude, but them's fightin' words!
Lets see.Known case of AFB,annual treatments of an antibiotic,how long do you think you have before you have resistant AFB.
Sure glad I'm not your beekeeping neighbor.
Anyone who tries to justify maintaining a source of disease or insect pest by quoting the high cost of wooden ware ,shouldn't bother being a beekeeper....Buy a table saw.
I hope you test your honey before you eat it.
(this post was self edited before hitting the "Submit Reply" button.)
Fighting words? hmmm.
Well let me tell you a little story about finding AFB in the early stages (no scales)of a friend's hive 3 years ago.
we killed all the bees, torched everything,boiled all the tools, and washed everything with bleach.
Problem solved right? Wrong, the following spring AFB is found in another hive. My friend effectively says " how am I supposed to keep bees if I desroy all of them and the hives every year". Good point. He treats all the hives in the fall and spring, feeds essential oils in the spring and low and behold, AFB has not shown up again in the infected hive or any of the other hives. His hives are thriving and nobody has dropped dead from eating his honey.
My AFB hive was caught early, I burn't the frames with signs of the disease, scorched ALL my hives, and now I give them medicine.
If AFB resistance is really such a ghastly concern then why is the stance of many state ag. depts. to simply treat hives with early stages of AFB wtih terramycin? Another thing you have to think about if the biological system in which disease resistance takes place. It's natural selection at its finest. But, since terramycin does NOT kill the bacterium spores, then there is no way for the propigation of terramycin resistant spores to evolve.
So until Tylosin is approved for general use (if you didn't know already this drug effectively kills AFB-- so you can harp on other people about its misuse and disease resistance) than I am going to continue to treat my hives, give them lots of TLC, harvest their honey, and enjoy myself while I'm doing it.
AFB is everywhere.Preventative treatment with TM is still effective in most places and is the best way to protect your investment.I would still burn a 'full blown' case of AFB.Minor cases can be treated effectively(mark the hive so you will follow up).The worst cases of AFB I ever saw were in deadouts from people who didnt believe in using TM.How are YOU going to protect YOUR hives from THAT!!
Thanks Mike for inadvertantly backing me up on this issue.
I would love to not medicate my hives and have a lifetime of beekeeping with no apiary problems.
I would just amble over to the hives and the bees are humming the theme to the sound of music and all the combs are golden yellow but in reality, this isn't going to happen anytime soon.
The fact of the matter is that AFB IS everywhere. So unless you can install a bar code reader and entrance gate on your hives to only let in the bees that "belong" there, all its going to take is one single bee with spores on it and a weak hive...boom, now YOU have AFB.
This discussion will probably go the way of the ventilation issue, where everyone has a million different ways of doing the same thing.
Untill the day comes when AFB is eliminated I think I will relly on that old atage
"an once of prevention..."
Yeah,reality has a way of making hash out of idealism.The main thing is just to keep it under control in your own hives ,because there isnt much you can do about the 'other guy'.
If you have AFB in your hives, kill the bees, burn the hives and bury the ashes deep. You cannot eradicate it and all you will do is fight it continually, plus spreading it to your neighbors. Better to burn your two hives than have it spread to all of them.
A long time ago I walked past a hive that did not smell right--opened it and there was the AFB stench. Killed the bees, burned that set of woodenware and wax, honey and all. I buried the resultant mess in the hole in which I burned it. Never had another case.
>>My AFB hive was caught early, I burn't the frames with signs of the disease
Exactly what you should do in a case of AFB.
>>AFB is everywhere.Preventative treatment with TM is still effective in most places and is the best way to protect your investment.I would still burn a 'full blown' case of AFB.Minor cases can be treated effectively(mark the hive so you will follow up).The worst cases of AFB I ever saw were in deadouts from people who didnt believe in using TM.How are YOU going to protect YOUR hives from THAT!!
Well said loggermike
All beekeeper should take this disease very sereaously. It can be very distructive if misshandled. Burning of comb is the best way to manage the disease within an operation, and continued treatment with tetracycen to suppress it and prevent further infection and spread. We have the tools to handle AFB within our operations, and we use it. It is simply not feasable to slash and burn your entire operation when a case of AFB appears. AFB is the ugly side of beekeeping.