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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Schenectady County, NY
    Posts
    80

    Default Disease or robbing after effects ?

    Oops, I had some robbing going on for few days, after I'd extracted few honey frames and put them back on a weaker hive to be cleaned up. The hive appeared to have some weak entry points... It took me a while to realize that it is being robbed, plus the weather was not really cooperating, so today I finally opened the hive to remove and rearrange some supers and to look in a brood chamber at the situation. First I pulled the drone frames - some brood cappings were chewed off or had small holes in them. I noticed lots of dead brood in uncapped cells which looked partially dried out or even completely black. I also looked at other than drone frames and situation looked similar - dead brood, cells with holes, I believe some of the capped cells were slightly sunken, spotted brood pattern (which was present in this hive for a while if not from the beginning in April). I did not do a rope test. I don't think anything smells bad, I believe that my sense of smell is pretty good , although there is some kind of stronger (kind of sourish)smell lately, but I was under impression that it should smell stronger during the goldenrod honey flow. I realized that the hive was robbed pretty bad - is it possible that the dead brood and ripped off cells are the results of that, or should I be concerned with AFB and alike ? I have to go to my strong hive tomorrow to replace the drone frames and I am afraid to use my tools, although it could be already late since they probably joined that robbing too. I was not treating my hives with anything except sugar powder and crisco patties throughout the season and they were started this spring from treated nucs. :confused:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default

    use bleach on your tools every inspection until you determine if you are disease free. you can dip them in a milk carton or coffee can full and wipe dry. good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,311

    Default

    The rope test is the common AFB field test. Put a small stick (match stick toothpick, stiff shaft of grass etc.) into the sunken cell, stir, and pull it out. If it ropes it's probably AFB.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#afb
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Schenectady County, NY
    Posts
    80

    Default

    How soon the smell becomes noticeable ? If it does not smell bad, what else can it be ?
    Would anyone extract honey using extractor if AFB or EFB was suspected ?
    Still waiting for the nice quiet day to open the hive and do the rope test...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,311

    Default

    Dead or chilled brood will smell bad. Not like AFB, but rotten. I'd do the rope test. Use the smell as a reason to check. But unless you are very familiar with the distinct smell, use other diagnostics before assuming anything.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,699

    Default

    I was told that a fishy sweet smell was an indication of AFB. I had asked an inspector what the smell would be like and that was her answer.

    I would wait on extracting until you know for sure. The disease lives in the wax. Unless you are 100% sure you can eliminate all wax from the equipment after extracting you could potentially spread the disease to you healthy hives. Even if you mix a few frames in the boxes you could contaminate the clean boxes.

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