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  1. #1
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    Ok, my overwintered hive is just about dead (3 frames of bees left - was booming just a month and a half ago).

    I believe, from today's inspection, that I have EFB, but the books I've read say EFB is not common.

    Symptoms - no foul smell, no real smell of any kind, not even the normal "good" smell. Dead larvae, all at the last stages. The larvae are laying longways in the cell, sort of twisted. Some are yellowish, then brown, then black. No pupal tongue sticking out, does not rope when poked. Some of the larvae look almost like chalkbrood.

    Many larvae cells look like they had the cappings partially chewed off. Larva inside are dead.

    Queen was superceeded, new one failed to do well, and I suspect they killed the bought queen I added, as I have eggs (singles) in pollen, really spotty pattern. Several brood in all stages (including some more that have died longways in the cell, slightly twisted) Still some worker brood but mostly drones.

    I'd like to take a picture, but I can't get a good one of the brood.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    I had EFB diagnosed in several of my hives not as badly as you describe but the symptoms sound similar, especially the twisted part. Dig a larva out and smell it- EFB smells like rotten fish, not at all pleasant. Just taking a whiff of the frame doesn't do it.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  3. #3
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    Ok - if it's EFB, do I need to treat the hive next door? I'm writing this one off, as it's down to a few frames of drones. I have tetramycin (sp?).
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    European Foulbrood (EFB) is 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. The cappings in the brood nest will be scattered, not solid, because they have been removing the dead larvae. To differentiate this from AFB use a stick and poke a diseased larvae and pull it out. The AFB will "string" two or three inches. Also AFB almost always dies AFTER it's capped. 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 has actually been shown to be more effective but I don't believe it is approved by the appropriate government agencies.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
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    Most of my larvae are never making it to be capped - they die, twisted in odd shapes, or laying long ways, with their "nose" poking up. They do not rope at all (I went back and tried a number of times on all stages of larvae). The remains of the larvae are quite easy to remove. I do have the scattered brood cappings, some sunken, some perforated, dead larvae underneath. The few workers remaining were chewing open a capping, I suppose to drag out a dead larvae.

    EFB it is, I guess.

    Thanks.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  6. #6
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    >EFB it is, I guess.

    Did you get the rotten fish smell? The apiary inspector smeared a bit on my veil and I smelled it all afternoon. I'll never forget it.

    Michael gave a great forensic description of EFB but he didn't mention the smell. It's pretty distinctive as is the twisted appearance of the larvae. EFB is also contagiou and easily spread. The apiary inspector torch-sanitized his hive tool after working on each of my hives.

    In any case, it sounds like your hive is pretty much had it. Sorry for your loss.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  7. #7
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    >Did you get the rotten fish smell?

    Yes. I dug out a larvae and sniffed it, it stank faintly. I was just down there contemplating a tetramycin lead blitz (put the bees in a nuc, feed, feed, feed), but I think the best thing is to accept the loss and move on.

    Equipment - Can I save it? It's plastic frames mostly. I can scorch the boxes (and will).

    [edit] - I meant to say, thank you very much for your help. I've only got two hives, but at least I can treat the other one.

    [size="1"][ June 11, 2006, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: xC0000005 ][/size]
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  8. #8
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    May 2005
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    The apiary inspector said in bad cases to burn the infected frames but otherwise, with minor infections, you can just let the bees clean it out. He also recommended treating the infected hives with Teramycin, or not. He also said requeening was a good idea, or not. My wife and I thought long and hard about it and decided to treat the worst hive- I don't believe in using antibiotics as a prophylactic as so many people do but to address a specific problem, it seemed like an acceptable option at the time. It was also my first time using an antibiotic. I'm generally in favor of NOT treating with medicines, but in the interests of obtaining experience in the matter, I figured it can't hurt to be able to say "I done that" and I can look back later and see whether it was really worth it. I have my doubts, but I live and learn.

    I also pulled a couple of the worst frames and replaced them with clean comb and as luck would have it, a friend of mine had a spare B. Weaver Buckfast queen he didn't want so it's requeened as well.

    My case was not really that severe and it seems to have cleared up as of my last inspection. You might want to junk the worst of your brood combs.

    Good luck.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  9. #9
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    The best cure for EHB is chalkbrood fungus. [img]smile.gif[/img] Hives that have the fungus around don't get EHB. [img]smile.gif[/img] Sort of extreme. Every cloud has a silver lining...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    >The best cure for EHB is chalkbrood fungus.

    Nice [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Incidentally, I came across this table of bee diseases and diagnostic criteria today:

    http://www.kohala.net/bees/diseasechart.html

    Looks pretty good at first glance.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  11. #11
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    That site has some good pictures of various brood diseases as well.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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