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Thread: AFB questions

  1. #1
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    I saw some evidence in my lower deep of AFB. I did do the toothpick test and only some of the cappings came out stringy. Non on the cappings were concaved in like some of the books say they would be. Also, some of the capping were chewed through but no sign of AFB in those cells. Why would cells be chewed through?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  2. #2
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    >>At first — Diseased larvae or prepupae are slightly yellowish in colour. As decomposition advances they become coffee-coloured and extend lengthwise in the cells. On stirring with a match or similar probe, the contents of the cell may rope out forming a fine elastic thread up to 30 mm long.

    Advanced stages — The brood pattern has a pepperbox appearance. On drying out, the diseased larvae or prepupae become dark brown and form a scale along the lower cell wall. Good lighting is required to observe these scales, as they are similar in colour to dark brood combs. Cappings, if present, will be either perforated or if the disease is well established, most of them will be sunken with a water-soaked appearance.

    Where death has occurred during pupation, a partly developed tongue may protrude as a fine thread upwards and backwards from the scale. Under Queensland conditions this symptom is rather rare.<<


    Terry

  3. #3
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    not always a sighn of foul brood this frame may have been chilled from an earlier observation. In my opinion this frame may have gotten to cold and larva died. The bees will eat through outer layer of cell to clean. Put the frame in the middle of your brood nest on a warm day and observe in 3 days and check your hive again if frames start getting worse this would be a case of foulbrood under most occassions if its chilled brood in a good size swarm than can clean in just a few days if you have young workers in the hive.

  4. #4
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    David:

    I did the toothpick test and it was brown and roppy. Does this symotom appear if the frame got cold and larvea died?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  5. #5
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    "Ropey" is the critical difference. It will make a string a couple of inches long or so if it's AFB. If in doubt, buy a test from one of the suppliers. I think all the big ones have them now. Or do the Holst milk test.

    The Hive and The Honey Bee. "Extensively Revised in 1975" edition. Page 623.

    "The Holst milk test: The Holst milk test was designed to identify enzymes produced by B. larvae when sporulating (Host 1946). A scale or toothpick smear is swirled gently into a tube containing 3-4 milliliters of 1 per cent powdered skim milk and incubated at body temperature. If the spores of B. larvae are present, the cloudy suspension will clear in 10-20 minutes. Scales from EFB or sacbrood are negative in this test."
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
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    Does it smell?Gym socks is a good analogy.
    With AFB,cappings will be sunken and greasy looking.
    I find it hard to believe that a hive would overwinter w/foulbrood.It would be dead by now.
    Chilled brood sounds more likely,esp.if your temps have been up and down like here in CT.

  7. #7
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    I am having a hard time finding a test kit. Anyone know where I can get one?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  8. #8
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    Send a sample to the Bee lab at beltsville. It's free. Then you will know. They will also tell you if it's resistant to Terra. The "ropiness" is the clincher but as as has been noted chilled and deteriorating brood look similar. This would be a funny time of year to find it. Perforating of the cappings means that the bees have detected a dead larva. They intend to come back and remove it. Brood die from other causes.

    Dick Marron

  9. #9
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    The oder will be sorta like rotting flesh. Once you smell it you'll never forget it. DADANT sells a kit.
    \"ONLY WHEN THE LAST RIVER HAS BEEN DRIED UP<br />THE LAST TREE BEEN CUT DOWN<br />THE LAST WILD FISH CAUGHT<br />WILL MAN REALIZE YOU CAN\'T EAT MONEY\"<br />GHANDI (?)

  10. #10
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    AFB does not always kill a hive overwinter.

    The holts milk test is 95% correct. About the same as the tests in the mags. I would buy the few items needed for the holts milk test and always have them handy.

    I have had several hives with frames (killed hives) of peppered brood, questionable ropyiness, and about the same discription given. All tests came back negative. I think with viral/mite kill, winter weather conditions, and the hive not regulated as in the summer with humidity and temperature, then brood can rot away and really look similar to AFB. This dead brood may not be cleaned out in a timely manner in cold times, chilled brood breaking down, and other items can make you look twice.

    Scale, ropy strings, smell, holts milk test, past episodes, and experience should all play into the final conclusion. When there is still a question, then send in a sample. And do another holts test. All testing of this nature has false positives, and false negatives.

    And as mentioned, there is a difference between the "ropy" you can cause with normal dead larvae, and the stringy ropy mass that AFB causes. Its really something you have to see a couple times to be good at tellng the difference. But a "ropy" string can be gotten in both situations, but there is a difference.

  11. #11
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