Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    West Point, Iowa
    Posts
    24

    Post

    i will be getting packages at the end of april.should i go ahead and treat them for afb and efb,yes and also fumidil.or should i wait till fall and do it?i dont want to miss the start of the honey flow with the meds on.i dont want to contaminate the honey.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,226

    Post

    >>should i go ahead and treat them for afb

    First of all, learn about the treatment. Very important to know what you are treating for and how to treat for it. Then yes, I would administer the suggested oxytetracyclen spring treatment. Then further asses your colony throughout the season for disease, and from there on it is in your own judgement

    Ian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    There are a lot of opinions on the subject. Try searches on things like AFB or Teramycin or fumidil and read the discussions. Some people treat. Some people use alternatives.

    For pictures of bee diseases: http://www.kohala.net/bees/index.html#anchor400987

    I'm more interested in the alternatives. If you're more of the "conventional" mind and approach then you should use the chemicals. If you're looking for a more natural approach, then these are my suggestions and my opinions:

    Traditional diseases of bees:
    Nosema. Caused by a protozoan called Nosema apis. Nosema is present all the time in hives and is really an opportunistic disease. The common chemical solution (which I don’t use) is Fumidil. The best prevention is to make sure your hive is healthy and not stressed and feed honey. Research has shown that feeding honey, especially dark honey, for winter feed decreases the incidence of Nosema. Any kind of stress and feeding sugar syrup increases the incidence. By all means, feed sugar syrup if you don’t have honey and it means helping a struggling package or nuc or split. By all means, if you don’t have honey, feed sugar syrup in the fall rather than let them starve, but if you can try to leave honey on for their winter stores. Symptoms are a swollen white gut (if you disassemble a bee) and dysentery. Don’t rely simply on dysentery. Sometimes bees get into rotting fruit or other things that give them dysentery, or are confined too long and get dysentery, but it may not be Nosema. The only accurate dianosis is to find the Nosema protazoa under a microscope.

    Chalkbrood. This is caused by a fungus Ascosphaera apis. The main cause is too much moisture in the hive. Add some ventilation. See the section on ventilation for more information. If you find white pellets in front of the hive that kind of look like small corn kernels, you have chalkbrood.

    European Foulbrood (EFB). Caused by a bacteria. It used to be called Streptococcus pluton but has now been renamed Melissococcus pluton. European Foul Brood is a brood disease. With EFB the larvae turn brown and their trachea is even darker brown. Don’t confuse this with larvae being fed dark honey. It’s not just the food that is brown. Look for the trachea. When it’s worse, the brood will be dead and maybe black and maybe sunk cappings, but usually the brood dies before they are capped. (as opposed to AFB) The cappings in the brood nest will be scattered, not solid, because they have been removing the dead larvae. To differentiate this from AFB more definitively use a stick and poke a diseased larvae and pull it out. The AFB will “string” two or three inches. This is stress related and removing the stress is best. You could also, as in any brood disease, break the brood cycle by caging the queen or even removing her altogether and let them raise a new one. By the time he new one has hatched, mated and started laying all of the old brood will have emerged or died. If you want to use chemicals, it can be treated with Terramycin. Streptomycin is actually more effective but I don’t think it’s approved by the FDA and the EPA.

    American Fouldbrood (AFB). Caused by a bacteria. It used to be called Bacillus larvae but has recently been renamed Paenibacillus larvae. With American Foul Brood the larvae usually dies after it is capped, but it looks sick before. The brood pattern will be spotty. Cappings will be sunken and sometimes pierced. Recently dead larvae will string when poked with a matchstick. The smell is rotten and distinctive. Older dead larvae turn to a scale that the bees cannot remove. This is also a stress disease. (yes, Jim there aslo have to be spores) In some states you are required to burn the hive and bees and all. In some states you are required to shake the bees off into new equipment and burn the old equipment. In some states they will make you remove all the combs and bees, and they will fumigate the equipment in a large tank. Some states just require you to use Terramycin to treat them. Some states if you are treating they will let you continue but if the bee inspector finds it they make you destroy the hives. Many beekeepers treat with Terramycin (sometimes abbreviated TM) for prevention. The problem with this is that it can mask the AFB. The spores of AFB will, for all practical purposes, live forever, so any contaminated equipment will remain so unless fumigated or scorched. Boiling will not kill it. TM will not kill the spores, only the live bacteria. AFB spores are present in ALL beehives. When a hive is under stress is the most likely time for an outbreak. Prevention is best. Try not to let hives get robbed out or run out of stores. Steal stores and bees to shore up weak hives so they don’t get stressed. What you are allowed to do if you get AFB varies by state, be sure to obey the laws in your state. Personally, I have never had AFB. I have not treated with TM for the last 28 years. If I had a outbreak I would have to decide what I would do. It may depend on how many hives are affected what I might do, but if I had a small outbreak I would probably shake the bees out into new equipment and burn the old equipment. If I had a large outbreak, I might try breaking the brood cycle and swapping out infected combs. IMO (In My Opinion) If we as beekeepers keep killing all bees with AFB we will not breed AFB resistant bees. If we as beekeepers keep using Terramycin as a preventative we will continue to spread TM resistant AFB.

    Parafoulbrood. This is caused by Bacillus para-alvei and has symptoms similar to EFB. The easiest solution is a break in brood rearing. Cage the queen or remove her and wait for them to raise one. If you put the old queen in a nuc or the old queens in a queen bank, you can reintroduce them if they fail to raise a queen.

    Sacbrood. Caused by a virus usually called SBV (SacBrood Virus). Symptoms are the spotty brood patterns as other brood diseases but the larvae are in a sack with their heads raised. As in any brood disease, breaking the brood cycle may help. It usually goes away in late spring. Requeening sometimes helps also.

    Breaking the Brood cycle. For all of the brood diseases this is helpful. To do this you simply have to put the hive in a position that there is no longer any brood. Especially no open brood. If you are planning to requeen anyway, just kill the old queen and wait a week and then destroy any queen cells. Don’t go three weeks or they will have raised a new queen. Wait another two weeks and then introduce a new queen (order the appropriate amount ahead of time). If you want to raise your own, just remove the old queen (put her in a cage or put her in a nuc somewhere in case they fail to raise a new one) and let them raise a queen. By the time the new queen is laying there will be no more brood. A hairclip catcher works for a cage. The attendant bees can get in and out and the queen cannot.

    Small Cell and Brood Diseases. Small cell beekeepers have reported that small cells also help with brood diseases in addition to mite problems.

    Recently new enemies have turned up.

    Varroa Mites. Varroa mites (Varroa destructor previously called Varroa jacobsoni which is a different variety of the mite that is in Malaysia and Indonesia http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/ac...0/saasp05b.pdf ) are a recent invader of beehives in North America. They are like ticks. They attach to the bees and suck the hemolymph from the adult bees and then get into cells before they are capped and reproduce there during the capped stage of the larvae development. The adult female enters the cell 1 or 2 days before it is capped. Being attracted by pheromones given off by the larvae just before capping takes place. The female feeds on the larvae for a while and then starts laying an egg about every 30 hours. The first is a male (haploid) and the rest are females. In an enlarged cell (see cell size section) the female may lay up to 7 eggs and since any immature mites will not survive when the bee emerges, from one to two new female mites will probably survive. These will mate, before the bee emerges and emerge with the host bee. Varroa mites are large enough you can see them. They are like a freckle on a bee. They are purplish brown in color and oval shaped. If you look at one closely or with a magnifying glass you can usually see the short legs on it. To monitor Varroa infestations you need a Screened Bottom Board (SBB) and a white piece of cardboard. If you don’t have a SBB then you need a sticky board. You can buy these or make one with a piece of #8 hardware cloth on a piece of sticky paper. The kind you use to line drawers will work. Put the board under it and wait 24 hours and count the mites. It’s better to do this over several days and average the numbers, but if you have a few mites (0 to 20) you aren’t in too bad of shape if you have a lot (50 or more) in 24 hours you need to do something.

    Several chemical methods are available. Apistan (Fluvalinate) and Checkmite (Coumaphos) are the most commonly used acaracides to kill the mites. Both build up in the wax and both cause problems for the bees and contaminate the hive. I don’t use them.

    Softer chemicals used to control the mites are Thymol, Oxalic acid, Formic acid and Acetic acid. The organic acids already naturally occur in the honey and so are not considered contaminates. Thymol is that smell in Listerine and although it occurs in Thyme honey, it doesn’t occur otherwise in honey. I have used the Oxalic acid and liked it. I used a simple evaporator that Dennis Murrel had on his web site.

    Inert chemicals for Varroa mites.

    FGMO is the most popular of these. Dr. Pedro Rodriguez has been a proponent and researcher on this. His original system was cotton cords with FGMO, beeswax and honey in an emulsion. The object was to keep the FGMO on the bees for a long period of time so the mites either get groomed or they suffocate on the oil. Later using a propane insect fogger was used to supplement the cords in this control system. The other up side of the FGMO fog was it killed the tracheal mites also.

    Inert dust. The most common inert dust used is powdered sugar. The kind you buy in the grocery store. It is dusted on the bees to dislodge the mites. This method is not very effective unless you remove the bees from the hive and dust them and then return them. It is also very temperature sensitive. Too cold and the mites don’t fall. Too hot and the bees die.

    Physical methods.

    Some methods are just hive parts or other things. Someone observed that there were less mites on hives with pollen traps and figured maybe the mites fell in the trap. The results were a screened bottom board (usually abbreviated SBB). This is a bottom board on the hive that has a hole covering most of the bottom covered with #7 or #8 hardware cloth. This allows the mites that get groomed off to fall down where they can’t get back on the bees. Research shows that this eliminates 30% of the mites.

    What I recommend. I use the small cell and Screened Bottom Boards (SBB) and I monitor the mites with a white board under the SBB. If the mites start going up while the supers are on I fog with FGMO. If they are still high after fall harvest, I use Oxalic Acid. Probably some FGMO fog would be a good idea anyway just to make sure the tracheal mites are gone, but the small cell will usually control both mites and cause less general stress which causes most of the other diseases.

    Tracheal Mites
    Tracheal mites (Acarapis woodi) are too small to see with the naked eye. If you want to check for them you need a microscope. Not a really powerful one, but you still need one. You’re not looking to see the details of a cell, just a creature that is quite small. Tracheal mites reproduce in young bees 1 to 2 days old. A common control for them is a grease patty (sugar and cooking grease mixed to make a patty) because it masks the smell that the tracheal mites use to find a young bee. If they can’t find young bees they can’t reproduce. Menthol is commonly used to kill the Tracheal mites. FGMO and Oxalic acid will also kill them. Breeding for resistance and small cell are also useful. The theory on the small cell helping is that the spiracles (the openings into the trachea) that the bees breathe through are smaller and the mites can’t get in. More research is needed on this subject.

    Small Hive Beetles
    Another recent pest that has not made it to where I am yet, is the Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida Murray). Sometimes abbreviated SHB. The damage they do is similar to the wax moths but more extensive and they are harder to control. If you smell fermentation in the hive and find masses of crawling larvae in combs you may have SHB. The only chemical controls approved for use are traps made with CheckMite and ground drenches to kill the pupae which pupate in the ground outside the hive.

    I have not had to deal with these, but I would go to more PermaComb in the brood nests if they become too much of a problem.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    It probably would be easier to write the book than to answer all these posts. But without the questions, where would I get my ideas for what to say?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Message Dup!

    [This message has been edited by Scot Mc Pherson (edited March 10, 2004).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Michael,
    This really is an excellent post. I added it as the Disease Summary page on the beewiki. You really should consider putting some stuff up there about your observations.

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    "Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me
    "Do or not do, there is no try" ~ Master Yoda
    BeeSourceFAQ: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    798

    Question

    And how does one determine just what their home state requirements are in regards to AFB?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    Most states have a dept of agriculture web site with the details posted. But you can call your county extention agent or call the state dept of agriculture.

  9. #9
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    I don't feel one should ever treat for
    anything without specific and compelling cause.

    If these are packages, you can ask the
    package producer what they treat for,
    what they test for, and what they are
    willing to "warranty" about your packages.

    If you have any question about the status
    of the bees, let them get established for
    a few weeks, and ask for a second pair of
    eyes at your local association meeting to
    double-check you on your first inspection.

    But recall that "breeding for resistance"
    to one thing or another is a very common
    phrase being thrown around by queen and
    package producers. In most cases, this is
    "marketing" and not an actual feature of
    the bees you might get. The important
    question to ask the producer is what pests
    and diseases, if detected and verified at
    the first inspection, are sufficient grounds
    for a full refund or replacement packages.

    I would take care in looking at packages
    from any producer in the Southeast. We
    have had a handful of packages shipped to
    Virginia from the SE US that contained
    small hive beetles, and prompted the State Inspectors to use everything short of nuclear weapons to "prevent the spread".

    So, SHB is the one thing that you want to look for "up front". Everything else can
    wait a bit.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    Dr. Marla Spivak just spoke at our NC Spring Bee Conference. She says that the routine treatments for AFB, chalkbrood, etc. and Varroa that everybody uses have really not helped. The diseases and pests are becoming resistant to the treatments. Her recommendation is to breed hygenic strains of bees and mite-resistant bees and put our energy into improving the bees' survivability, given a threshold acceptable level of mite infestation. The hygenic bees tend to survive by cleaning out the AFB and chalkbrood problem before it becomes "hot." Like so many aspects of agriculture, we tend to treat the symptoms and not pursue the causes and the cures. I know there is an economic threshold, especially for commercial beekeepers who must adopt a different "shotgun" approach to disease than a hobbyist's labor-intensive regimen with only a few hives. But, as the bee-less situation continues, we will need to rethink a lot of our traditional ideas.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,226

    Post

    >>routine treatments for AFB, chalkbrood, etc. and Varroa that everybody uses have really not helped. The diseases and pests are becoming resistant to the treatments. Her recommendation is to breed hygenic strains of bees and mite-resistant bees and put our energy into improving the bees' survivability

    If it was that easy, we would not have any disease problems now. Yes I agree, hygenic stock is the way to go, but we have a long way to get there yet. perhaps the chemical treatment are buying us all time needed to fully and properly develop the resistant stock. Otherwise the mite would have wiped out the countrys bee stock almost to extinction, kind of like the fearl colonies.

    >>Like so many aspects of agriculture, we tend to treat the symptoms and not pursue the causes and the cures.

    Pursueing the causes and cures is almost an imposible task. It is really a question of how much capital you are willing to sacrafice. If you make a living off agriculture, treating the symptoms is the only option in most cases.

    Ian

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Ian,
    Yes it really is that easy, the problem is that most people are unwilling to deal with the short term losses while going though this period. If everyone stopped treating, we;d have a dearth of bee populations, and be left with a few populations that made it. Those are the survivors strains. It'd only take one die-out to wipe out the largest majority of non-survivor strains. With a few minor die-outs to get rid of the pockets remaining. Anything following is fairly anomolous.

    assuming every single beekeeper in the world or at a minimum continent ceased chemical treatment.
    1st year, severe losses (get a grant for aide)
    2nd year, less but still severe losses (get a grant for aide)
    3rd year, Losses are more from other natural causes, not nearly so much from mites/diseases we were treating for

    4,5,6th year, hey most of the bees I got I still got or losses were due to other that disease/mite problems
    7,8,9th.... year, hey I remember when these mites.dieases were a problem, now they are part of life and hit a normalized baseline. New beekeepers don't even remember these treatments.

    Of course I have no statistics, but what I outlines above is a very realistic and likely outcome.

    Each time a genetically contributing member or unit of a species dies (such as a hive), it strengthens the species as a whole.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    So where do you get a grant for aid for losses? I understand that Ian is making his living in agriculture. He's not able to take big losses on it. It's his livelyhood.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    SuperB.
    It will seem that you may get a lot of conflicting info, but as Micheal Bush pointed out, may of us are in this for different reasons and therefore have different methods. Unlike Ian, I am strickly a hobbiest. I love my bees (but they won't let me hug them.... reminds me of my last girlfriend).

    Anyway, determining what You are in it for will help guide you. Like Micheal, I am more interested in the alternatives. My lively hood isn't at stake. My first year I wasn't as informed as I am now on the alternatives, so I used a couple of drugs that were common in my association. Now, however, I don't mind writing off a hive with bad "genes" or other problems. But this is a hard pill to swallow when you are starting out. Just consider that it may be even harder when you get a number of hives and risk loosing them all. Nevertheless, I am not opposed to the cautious use of chemicals especially in the first year when you are still learning to find the queen, identify eggs, and just hoping your smoker won't quit on you.

    And as was suggested, check with your suppliers. Many will treat the bees as they are being shipped. No need to OD. the bees on drugs.
    WayaCoyote

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >assuming every single beekeeper in the world or at a minimum continent ceased chemical treatment.
    1st year, severe losses (get a grant for aide)


    This, my first winter (full year) drug free, I lost 20%, but the survivors are very strong and I will have many splits this year. The loss is not as great as if I only had a couple of hives.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    848

    Post

    question for you scot in the first year why do you lose so many hives?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    I plan on, when I get several hives, not treating and letting the bad genes die. But packages/nuc are to expensive to keep buying every year. I can say the only treatment my hives have gotten is a grease patty and SBBs in use. I am building Topbarguy's Oxalic acid vaporizer. And will be what I use if the need arrises for mite treatment. I am starting small cell this year as well. But I am doing it the slow way and not complete shake downs. Just adding frames as they can draw them. I do believe all beekeeper even the comercial guys need to let the bad genes die out. If you had hundreds of colonies why not set some aside and see who can survive.

    Unlike what Scot said I think that bees are already some what resistant. The mites have already killed alot of unworthy hives. All the feral hives that could not cope are gone. Those that can survive are making drones and swarms. So some of their genes are making their way into our hives. Even alot of the queen and package producers are letting some hives go untreated and selecting from the survivors for production of queens. Both the Weavers have been doing this. They treated many hives to keep the production up but are breeding from survivors. You do not have to let all your hives go untreated and take the losses to find breeders when you have thousands of hives. If you just select from a hundred or so hives you will eventually get resistants without the great losses.

    MB glad to hear about your success, but you have most of your hives on smaller cell(permacomb 5.1mm right). This could be part of your success. And your breeding from feral hives that have survived.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    >MB glad to hear about your success, but you have most of your hives on smaller cell(permacomb 5.1mm right).

    I wax coated it so it's 4.95mm

    >This could be part of your success. And your breeding from feral hives that have survived.

    Yes. About half are feral survivor queens. I hope to raise more of those this next year.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    This one just cracks me up!!!!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    Oppss....i'm on the wrong page. Me bad. I better stay off the chat room and start sleeping

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads