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Thread: Brood disease

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Santa Fe TN USA

    Default Brood disease

    I was inspecting some hives today and one of my strongest hives with the most honey supers seems to have a brood disease. I am hoping it is not the dreaded foul brood. I noticed it most in drone cells. The caps were darker and when I started pulling the mummies out. The bee would move around a little but was darker than it should be I think. What does this sound like? Also looked like it is going to swarm. Found 2 capped queen cells. I was going to split it but now I am scared that I would just be spreading foul brood to more equipment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Anderson County, Texas

    Default Re: Foulbrood

    The following information is from the University of Tenn. extension service short course on beekeeping PB 1745.
    My understanding is that terrimycan is no longer available, but duramyacin has been substituted as a treatment. This is probably available at you local farm and ranch supply. Email me at and put Re: to foul brood and I can try to email this short course to you. See below the excerpt dealing with foulbrood.


    American Foulbrood
    American foulbrood is a disease of honeybee
    brood caused by the bacterium Paenobacillus larvae.
    Symptoms of the disease include a spotty brood
    pattern; concave, punctured capped brood cells;
    discolored larvae; dried, shrunken brood (called
    scales) stuck tightly onto the bottom of cells; and an
    unpleasant odor. The disease is spread by long-lived,
    hardy spores transmitted by bees, on beekeeping
    equipment, in honey and in other ways.
    Because of the persistence of spores and the
    devastating effects of the disease, the recommended
    action for American foulbrood is burning of the
    infested colony, including bees and woodenware. Once
    an infestation is detected, the bees in the affected
    colony should be killed (one way to do this is by
    spraying ether starter ?uid in the entrance). Plug the
    entrance, then burn the entire colony in a hole in the
    ground. After burning, the remains should be covered
    with soil. Tools coming into contact with the hive
    should be sterilized.
    American foulbrood can be prevented with
    treatments of the antibiotic terramycin. Terramycin
    can be applied as a powder or in sugar/shortening
    patties. To apply as a powder, mix terramycin powder
    with powdered confectioners sugar. Dust 1 oz. (= 1/3
    cup or 5 & 1/3 tablespoons) of the mixture over the
    top of the outside frames in the brood chamber. Apply
    this mixture three times at 4- to 5-day intervals in
    Mixing Terramycin
    For TM25: TM25 is sold in 6.4 oz. packets, each
    containing 10,000 mg oxytetracycline. Eight hundred
    mg oxytetracycline is applied per honeybee colony. To
    produce dust containing 267 mg oxytetracycline/oz.,
    combine entire packet with 2 lbs. powdered sugar to
    produce enough dust to treat 12 colonies (3 dustings of
    1 oz. each).
    For TM50: TM50 contains oxytetracycline at
    50 g/lb. (=3125 mg/oz.). To prepare the
    TM50+powdered sugar dust (267 mg oxytetracycline
    /oz.) add 3 oz. of TM50 to 2 lbs. powdered sugar to
    produce enough dust to treat 11 colonies (3 dustings of
    1 oz. each).
    Terramycin Extender Patties
    Colonies can be treated with terramycin in
    extender patties, one treatment in March and another
    in October. Due to increasing incidence of foulbrood
    resistance to terramycin, we caution the routine use of
    this material as a preventative when there has not been
    any recent incidence of foulbrood in the local area.
    Terramycin Extender Patty Recipes
    TM25 6.4 oz. only Shortening Granulated Sugar No. Patties
    4 teaspoons 0.9 oz.* (1/8 cup) 2.7 oz.* (2/5 cup) 1
    1 6.4 oz. pkg. 11 oz.(1 1?2 cups) 2 lbs. 1 oz.(4 3/4 cups) 12
    3 6.4 oz. pkgs. 2 lbs. 1 oz.(4 1?2 cups) 6 lbs. 3 oz.(14 1/4 cups) 36
    TM50D + Powdered sugar Shortening Granulated Sugar No. Patties
    1 lb. 10 oz. + 6 lbs. 5 lbs. 10 oz. 11 lbs. 12 oz. 100
    8 lbs. + 30 lbs. 29 lbs. 4 oz. 57 lbs. 12 oz. 500
    16 lbs. + 60 lbs. 58 lbs. 8 oz. 115 lbs. 8 oz. 1000
    * = weight

    First mix the terramycin (TM25, TM50) and
    powdered sugar thoroughly with granulated sugar.
    Then add vegetable shortening, mix and ?atten over
    wax paper into 1/4 lb. patties. These can be frozen
    in plastic bags for later use. Feed the antibiotics 30
    days or more before a honey ?ow. Do not treat honeyproducing
    colonies during the nectar ?ow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Santa Fe TN USA


    I am not sure it is foul brood. Could be sac brood or something else. Form the images I have seen I do not think it is foul brood.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    Go look for pictures of Sacbrood, EFB and AFB and compare them to what you saw.
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Yuba County, California, USA


    The bee would move around a little but was darker than it should be I think. What does this sound like?

    What strain of bees do you have? Sounds like it could be a dark drone is all, like carniolan drones or maybe russians? Many queens are crossed up and lay both light and dark drones. A darker drone will make the cappings look darker as it matures.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Santa Fe TN USA


    After much research I am still not sure what I have (if anything) I am thinking I will wait and do nothing a couple of weeks and check it again. If it is American foul brood it is early stages because I had no odor and could not get the ropey stuff. If it is AFB what should I do? This is a double hive body with 5 suppers on it. Can I recover any of the honey? Or do I just have to burn the whole thing? This could be a major set back fro me since I do not have many hives and this was 1 of 2 that would make honey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Knoxville, TN, USA


    Tennessee REQUIRES the destruction of ALL bees and woodenware associated with a hive if AFB is confirmed! This is to prevent the spread of AFB to other colonies.

    If you suspect the you have AFB contact your local inspector to confirm whether or not that is the problem.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    mineral county,Montana USA


    sounds like nothing to me, but since you yelled fire you need to make sure there is no fire before you continue.


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