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  1. #21
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    Mar 2006
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    Seattle, WA
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    213

    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    I hope I'm not violating copywrite laws...

    "
    In honeybees, hygienic behavior means the detection and
    removal of diseased, parasitized, or otherwise nonvital brood
    from the brood nest by nurse bees. This behavior helps to
    remove brood pathogens from the colony, and therefore, it is
    considered a part of the immune response of honeybees (5, 14,
    15, 18, 19, 21, 22). In the case of AFB, the removal of diseased
    larvae by nurse bees prior to the conversion of the larval
    biomass into infectious spores efficiently disturbs spore production within the colony,
    leading to impaired disease transmission and disease development within the colony. The more
    AFB-infected larvae become moribund or even die before cell
    capping, the more larvae will be removed by nurse bees as part
    of the immune defense and the less ropy mass and fewer
    spore-containing foulbrood scales will be produced (Table 1)"

  2. #22
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    Mar 2010
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    robertsdale,Al.,USA
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    236

    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    what about SHB???beetles travel in&out of MANY cells in a hive.Then they leave&go to another&another&another.If I have 6 hives in 1 location&the beetles migrate between all of them,is there a possibility of them transferring the disease to all of them?

  3. #23
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    At Doc Russell's urging this morning before he left for the Coast, I will chime in by describing how to check a hive for AFB, in a hive w/ a live colony and in a deadout hive, one w/ no bees or brood. This is how I was taught by fellow Apiary Inspectors some 25 years ago.

    Bear handed, one smokes the entrance of the hive, remove the cover, smoke down thru the inner cover hole, crack open ther inner cover and smoke some more, remove the inner cover.

    Remove the honey supers, if there are any, placing them across the cover so as not to squash any more bees than necassary. (many people like to stack the supers inside the cover so any honey that might drip doesn't end up on the ground. I think Michael Palmer prefers that method, but I am not sure about that.)

    Once the brood boxes are uncovered, standing beside the hive, break the two deeps apart so as to loosen any burr comb from between the bottom bars and top bars of the upper and lower deep. Then, w/ the hook end of a standard hive tool, loosen the frames from each other and w/ the flat part break the side frames from the walls of the hive.

    Remove the second frame. The frame closest to the wall usually is full of honey, not often occupied by brood. There are exceptions to all rules. If the second frame contains any brood or open cells here is where the actual search for AFB starts.

    Holding the frame of brood w/ two hands and by the top bar, scan the surface of the caped brood looking at the color and condition of the cappings, especially any punctured caps. If one finds a punctured cap, using the corner of ones hive tool, further open the cell and see what resides inside. If a white pupae is present, move on. If a brown viscus liquid mass is found prepare to sample this, using a wooden match or a small twig. Stick you match into the cell, stir it around a couple of times and try to scrape the mass out of the cell. If you can, it isn't AFB. If the brown liquid acts like rubber cement and brakes off springing back into the cell, it's AFB.

    Punctured cap w/ a brown viscus liquid that ropes, breaks off and springs back into the cell is 99% accurately diagnosed as AFB. For Lab confirmation, take the stick that you stirred the cell contents w/, place it on a piece of paper, wrap it up and send it to The Beltsville Bee Lab, Beltsville, Maryland. I don't have any better an address available at this time. Google it.

    Say you have looked at the first comb and find nothing suspicious. Continue on thru the rest of the combs in that box. Some folks don't care for it, but I stand the frame I removed against the hive after shaking the bees off of it. As I look at the rest of the combs, I put them back in the box. When finished w/ the top brood box, I slide the eight frames back away from me and replace the frame which I first removed.

    The next step is to check the bottom brood box. Sometimes this box will be pretty vacant of any brood. Check it anyway. If it contains capped brood, do as described above. If the combs are mostly empty, this is where you can practice looking for AFB Scale, the dried down mass, no longer liquid. If you have good/young eyes you might spot the pupal tongue.

    Again, w/ the frame held w/ two hands, by the ends of the top bar, this time especially w/ the sun over your shoulder, tilt the frame away from you like a dosing rod, if you know what that looks like, so you can scan across the open cells looking for something unusually lumpy and black laying on the wall of a cell. Having sunlight shining down across the open cells helps your eye to really see the scale. It takes practice. It's also helpful to see someone do it. It's somewhat hard for me to describe.

    If you find what you think is an AFB scale, you will have to cut some cells out of the comb and send them to Beltsville.

    Everything I have described above pertains mostly to Worker Brood, not frames of Drone Brood. You can skip them, if you have them in your hives for mite control. It is a rare occurance to find AFB in drone brood. I have never seen it and I think there probably is some mechanism which prevents drones from getting AFB. Maybe someone knows.

    If there is anything I forgot to mention or any clarification needed, let me know.

    Oh, yeah, put the hive back together thwe way you found it. Wash your hive tools, hands and smoker bellows w/ a scrub brush and soapy water, after inspecting the yard and after finding each case of AFB. That's how I was taught.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #24
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    Apr 2011
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    Jacksonville, NC
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    216

    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Dr. Russell,

    Could you please help me understand the apparent discrepancy between your 2 statements in post #6, and the text found in “The Hive and the Honey Bee”, regarding what actually starts the infection?
    Is it the spore stage or the vegetative stage?
    I always thought that the spores carried around by the nurse bees are fed to the larvae..., once ingested by the larvae, the spore germinates and starts its killing of the larvae by multiplying in the midgut, then penetrating the body cavity and in the end, causing septicimia.
    Then, once the substrate( larva) is gone, it converts back to spores…and spreads around…looking for another “perfect age” larvae…

    Am I wrong? Thanks for your patience!

    For reference, I am posting both, your statement from post #6 and the one from the book.

    Quoting Dr. Russell:

    “1. The bacteria is no threat in a vegetative cell state...
    2. Heavy amounts of vegetative cells must enter the correct age larvae via the larvae's feed... the optimal age is within the 24 hrs after the larvae has emerged from the egg and this window of opportunity is closed forever when the larvae reaches 3 days of age... only the larvae that injest heavy amounts of vegetative cells within that first 24 hrs will be suitable hosts for the bacteria to produce spores that can infect the colony, as the older larvae will develop to a harder state so the bees can remove them without releasing the P. Bacillus spores...


    Quoting from “The Hive and the Honey Bee”, page 1085, American Foulbrood Disease:

    Only the spore stage of B.larvae can initiate the disease, and the spores can remain viable indefinitely on beekeeping equipment…Woodrow(1942)concluded that one B.larvae spore is sufficient to infect a larva one day after the egg hatch. Using Woodrow’s data, Bucher (1958) determined the LD 50 of Bacillus larvae to be 35 spores in one-day-old honey bee larvae. Spores of B.larvae germinate approximately one day after ingestion by the larva…”

  5. #25
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Thanks for that excellent article WLC, I've added it to my favorites.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #26
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by megank View Post
    I disagree that hygienic bees are more susceptible as I believe he implied.
    Can't speak for Dr. Russell... Also, after reading the article that WLC linked (good stuff, thanks! WLC) and you also quoted from on the hygienic behavior,... my take is that hygienic bees, just by having a more intense cleaning behavior will increase the chance of spreading the spores through the hive...while trying to take out the ropey stuff or scales for that matter. Yes, hygienic bees will increase the chance of stopping the infection if they get to remove the dead larvae before it is capped. Like the larva killed by the ERIC ll AFB genotype, that kills fast, before the larva is capped...
    But, what if, the hive is infected with one of the ERIC I AFB genotypes, that kills the larvae after it is capped? I mean, hygienic or not...if ERIC I is involved...and larva dies after being capped, more slowly...then the hygienic behavior is not going to help a whole lot. Unless, the ropey stuff stays capped and undisturbed...sealed forever so to speak. What are the chances of that?
    Am I wrong in this line of thinking?

  7. #27
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Do y'all have a magnifying screen or something. WLC's article is way to small for me to read.

    How does it bolster the nonburning of infected equipment?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #28
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    Mar 2010
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    sqkcrk

    click on the document link and then magnify the document by increasing the %. I don't know what system your operating from. Look for "view" or increase text size option.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  9. #29
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    Apr 2011
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    216

    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post

    How does it bolster the nonburning of infected equipment?
    It does not. It describes however that P.larvae comes in different genotypes. Some more virulent than others. The extremely virulent ones, by killing the larvae very fast, before it is capped, allows the bees to clean/remove before the formation of spores. Therefore, clinical expression of the disease is not noticed...despite the fact that the hive was infected at one point. On the other hand, if the AFB genotype is one of the less virulent, slower killer ( as in takes its time to kill the larva after it was capped) the chances of the larva developing into ropey stuff goes up...and doing an inspection would detect this ropey stuff...and in the end, burning the hive.
    Just my 2 cents...

  10. #30
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    but also helps to bolster arguments against proscribed burning of hives.
    How does it do that?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #31
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Did you read the paper?

  12. #32
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    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    213

    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    @ apis m

    Any removal of diseased larvae will reduce the rate of infection. I'm sure on any given occasion you can find one or two AFB infected larvae in most untreated hives. Is that a cause panic? Not in my book, however, there seems to be a threshold of the number of diseased larvae where the hive becomes symptomatic. If those few dead and dying larvae are removed when they are found by hygienic bees then the disease does not manifest itself colony wide.

    If I'm not mistaken Charles Mraz and Dr. Spivak has shown this to be the case, unless there is another mechanical mechanism that disrupts transmission

  13. #33
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    megank:

    More importantly, it gives the beekeeper a way to determine if they have the ERIC I or ERIC II strain of AFB. It's in the timing.

    That's the part that's important to the Doc's 'thesis'.

  14. #34
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    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Ok, some great discussion topics came into play while I was out...

    First, let me address the concern of the different genotypes... as with all lab studies, the real world is much different... there are indeed 4 recognised genotypes of P. Larvae, however, outside of the lab environment, they are all found to be amongst each colony... so while this study gives us a closer look at the differences between the genotypes, that doesnt mean that we will ever find a colony with one specific genotype inside... the findings of this research is more helpful in the areas of genotype promotion... ie.. promoting the atmosphere needed for a less virulent genotype in an effort to reduce the populations of the more virulent ones... that is not currently under study, but may be in the near future...

    Next I will address the question in post #24... the key to the difference is "originally causes the infection"... vegetative cells are responsible for this in the first guttural infection... as they run out of food within that first, they then produce spores which are spread and cause the rest of the infections within other cells... it is important to note that the chances of the initial first cell becoming infected is very low, and requires some for of stress in nearly ever case studied... an infection can be one single larvae or ten, but it is always started by one larvae being infected by vegetative cells... then spreading from there...

  15. #35
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    'the findings of this research is more helpful in the areas of genotype promotion... ie.. promoting the atmosphere needed for a less virulent genotype in an effort to reduce the populations of the more virulent ones... that is not currently under study, but may be in the near future...'

    Boy, am I glad that we are working on a bio-ceramic hive.

  16. #36
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    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    As to the effects of hygienic behavior...

    As I have said before, there is a level of hygienic behaviour that exceeds the desired levels for production and optimal colony health...

    The spores passed along from an infected cell are of course passed more effectively by the hygienic bees that are hoping to remove the dead larvae... that said, an extremely hygienic colony can and has proven to be effective at responding so tenaciously to afb, that they were able to completely overcome the infection... however, the infection may have never occurred had they sealed the cell, and the test colonies had negative attributes outside of this, a few even dwindled and died from a neurotic, self-destructive brood removal...

    That said, the basic lower level hygienics are more phone to pull and tug, then give up and seal the cell with a very thick layer of wax reducing the transfer of spores...

    The highest number of infected cells within a living colony was a colony of "dead beats" in EU that simply seemed to refuse to clean any thing... this colony had over 4,000 infected cells in it at once and was steadily moving its brood space upwards as if to just cull the infected areas...

  17. #37
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Did you read the paper?
    No WLC, I didn't. Did you read my Post in which I said I couldn't read it? I'm not as skilled and knowledgable in the use of computers as others are. I was hoping you could answer my question and save me some work, by explaining what you meant.

    I have never heard of Eric 1 and Eric 2. The Beltsville Bee Lab doesn't distinguish between the two. So, the only real way to address any finding of AFB, especially w/ Lab Confirmation, is to burn it.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 10-12-2011 at 06:25 PM.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #38
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)


  19. #39
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Doc:

    By the way, while spores from different strains of AFB may be present in any hive, I would assert that only one type would be actively infectious at any one time.

    I have been an adjunct lecturer in Microbiology, and that's usually the case, one strain at a time.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Thanks. Which part leads you to believe that burning isn't called for?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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