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  1. #41
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    You read it and tell me.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    I didn't read it word for word, but I did read most of it. I find your reply typical of those who think it is important for others to figure things out for themselves. "Read my book." Is typical of those who know more than others Lording the fact over those asking questions of them. I love ya W.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  3. #43
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    A very famous man who I had the fortune to get to know and talk to as a young man used to take AFB slime and prime queen cells before grafting. This is the direct innoculation method. Not every queen larvae survived the innoculation. The ones that did, their offspring were resistant to AFB because they carried the genetic trait for resistance. Thus the trait was proven to carry on through subsequent crossings of lines of bees. At this time in the industry, AFB was rampant and kicking beekeepers in the butt. The bee became famous as the MRAZ bee and the beekeeper was CHARLES MRAZ-one of the true innovators in American beekeeping. NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY>>>TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  4. #44
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    So, WLC and Dr. Russell...two hypotheses on the table...
    One in which an infection, clinically manifested, is caused by a particular strain or genotype in this case...and the other where a combination of these genotypes are at play in different hives.
    If, only one genotype is the culprit in any one given outbreak, something else would have a role in promoting/sustaining that genotype.
    Starting with the bees themselves, very complex creatures indeed...and who knows how many other things would come into play...and why not the bacteria themselves. Since, according to the article WLC linked, and the references the article has, it is clear that these ERIC classified genotypes, have been evolving since the bees are on this planet.
    Thoughts?

  5. #45
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Mark, it's in black and white. It's also been referred to by others. Table 1.

    The fast strains (Eric II), get cleared quickly (reducing spore load) because the larvae die within 7 days while the cells are still uncapped.

    The slower strains (ERIC I) (12 days), aren't cleared and get capped (increasing spore load).

    ERIC I and II are the dominant trains.

    You can successfully deal with ERIC II strains once you've detected the characteristic infection.

    ERIC I strains are another matter.

    Now, unless the DOC is using enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) primers, it can be pretty tough to say for sure what's happening strain wise during active AFB infections.

    However, it can be argued that ERIC II strains, when identified, don't automatically require that infected hives should be burned or quarantined when detected.

    You can likely manage or treat them back to health.

    I think that Table 1 can go a long way towards helping a beekeeper decide on which course of action to take.

    Local laws don't take strains into account.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Ted, I knew Mraz developed a afb resistant strain, but I didn't know he purposely innoculated his grafts...That's thinking outside the box. So whatever hppened to his strain?

    and on a side note, I think its safe to say that queens are not going to be a vector for new infections

  7. #47
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21853316

    This is something about to be published on ERIC.

    Here's a resource:

    http://patricbrc.vbi.vt.edu/portal/p...time=a&kw=none

    Have fun.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    You will not get AFB from queens, that I am 99.999 percent certain. His strain was bred into many of the strains of bees we have today. I think one person has the answer what happened to Charlie's resistant bees and who might still have some genetics from them-that is Michael Palmer of Vermont. He knew Mr. Charley a whole lot better than I ever could have just by living in Vermont. So Michael, if you are out there in Cyber land- the question is what did happen to the breeding stock of Mraz AFB resistant Italians? TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  9. #49
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    You can likely manage or treat them back to health.

    Local laws don't take strains into account.
    Thank you. And since they don't, for some reason, isn't it expoditious to procede w/ a burning policy, personally.

    "likely"? But can one?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #50
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    As a business practice, you always go for the standard (whatever that may be). That's burning. However, standard practices do change when new information becomes a vailable.

    If you can get the spore count low enough, infection can be stopped. Antibiotic treaments can knock out the vegetative cells.

  11. #51
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by megank View Post
    and on a side note, I think its safe to say that queens are not going to be a vector for new infections
    The common wisdom is that queens do not transfer AFB to the new hive. However I'm not 100% sure it's impossible.

    What happens, is if a queen is taken from an infected hive, she may have some AFB spores on her. However while she is in the cage, the nurse bees that are with her clean her and themselves, and consume any AFB spores, rendering them harmless. By the time she is released in the new hive, spore levels are so low they are unlikely to cause an infection.

    However I remember a beekeeper from a long time ago, who only had something around 200 hives, but had a lingering AFB problem that never seemed to go away. Whenever he burned a hive, if he thought it had a good queen, he would cage it and introduce it to a split taken from another hive. I've always wondered if that had something to do with him never being able to shake the disease, but I don't know.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #52
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    My guess is that if the hive was susceptible to afb, then the genetics of the queens offspring would make the new hive just as susceptible. Just a guess

  13. #53
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    This is true for the most part... as you know, the cells lay dormant until the opportune environment has arisen... the opportune environment is slightly different for each genotype, so even with a community of cells present within the gut of the first larvae, the cells that find the environment to be best suited to their needs will be the ones that feed the most off of the nutrients of the host, thus producing their spores more readily as the host runs out of nutrients...

    During this process, however, the first genotype to find the environment perfect, may in turn create a perfect environment for one or more of the other genotypes that are present... resulting in the production of spores from two or more genotypes at once... the latter to be enriched will of course be in smaller numbers, but will still be there... so the next larvae to become infected runs a possibility of ingesting and thus producing spores of a separate genotype... creating a complex infection within one colony...

    This is much more prevalent in the common bee hive than it would be within a lab study of course for several reasons...
    1. The exterior environment of the hive is ever changing and infections can take years to move from one cell to another before reaching a dominating threshold... while the exterior environment of the lab is virtually consistent... so the environment being perfect for one genotype can change during the course of the initial infection and become more suitable for the development of a different genotype that is sharing the dormant vessel, (ie. Food stores)...

    So at this point, there just isn't enough data to be able to pinpoint a specific genotype as the culprit and develop a more specific recourse based on that knowledge... but I am hoping that one day research will have found a way to promote a lesser of the 4 genotypes and thus lessen the accumulation of the others... as the genome is further sequenced, we may find the information that we need to be able to identify particular traits in honey bees that could lead to resistances that surpass those from before...

    Which by the way, thanks Ted for adding that information to the discussion... the Mraz genetics did indeed play a large roll in stopping the great losses of that time... I and many others fear that the scheduled preventative treatment with TM may have weaken those resistances over the years and although the use of this routine is completely understandable, I hope that a broader understanding may help people to test and identify first, then they can either burn or treat infections, without running the risk of losing natural resistances and mutating the cells...

  14. #54
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    As Oldtimer and Ted have pointed out, the way that an afb infection is spread from colony to colony is by the infection (endospores, not vegetative cells in this case) being passed via the robbing of stores or deliberate transfer of infected brood...

    Active endospores can be transferred via equipment as well if the infection is advanced...

    A method of salvaging colonies that was (may still be) approved by most was to shake the bees onto new foundation and remove all of the old equipment, stores, and combs... the idea here is that the feed stored in the gut of the bees would be spent in the form of wax production... thus the spores would not be able to be fed to larvae when brood rearing begins again... and by that time all of the stores would be from fresh sources and free of virulent spores... this is somewhat comparable to package bees, with the exception of the wooden ware of the package possibly harboring spores from the production hive to the new hive...

    In the case of queens from infected hives, the spores are unable to pass from the queen to the nurses that are feeding her, and the nurses that are caged with her are unable to pass the spores over to nurses that are feeding them through the cage or even after release... thus the spores are safely retained within their guts and will move back to the vegetative cell state there... the amount of spores on there bodies is far too small to be gathered into the collection of one perfectly aged larvae to generate a new infection...

    In the case of queens from yards with afb in them, the likelihood of a mating nuc receiving virulent endospores from an infected hives and passing on enough of them on the bodies of the 6-9 bees and 1 queen is so small its unfathomable...

    In the case of queens from a yard on one side of the country possibly passing on an infection from three infected hives on the other side of the country is just plain absurd....

    My next post will be on treatments, burning and the considerations that one should take into account when deciding which course to take...
    Last edited by rrussell6870; 10-13-2011 at 05:51 PM.

  15. #55
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    However I remember a beekeeper from a long time ago, who only had something around 200 hives, but had a lingering AFB problem that never seemed to go away. Whenever he burned a hive, if he thought it had a good queen, he would cage it and introduce it to a split taken from another hive. I've always wondered if that had something to do with him never being able to shake the disease, but I don't know.
    I know of a gentleman that had encountered the same type of situation, however, he was not even keeping the queens... it was finally realised that the hives were burned above the soil level and he had been inspecting for it when he was checking supers to see if they were ready to be extracted, thus when he found an infection, the hive that was burned was burned with the supers full of honey on them as well... turns out that the lower melting point of the cappings and the close proximity to the soil of the hives as they were laid over on their backs for burning, allowed the infected honey to escape into the soil where it acted as a protective barrier to spores that were below the effects of the heat... so after he had burned the hive and left, the bees in the yard would take up the honey in the surface of the soil and thus take up the spores along with it... the discovery of this was only made by observing that each spot where he had burned hives would be frequented by bees, even when there was nothing there to forage, and even in the fall when temps would be lower and months had passed since the hives were burned...

    Although it is not a necessity according to most regulations based around burning requirements, I would still always recommend that one either digs a hole to burn hives in so that the ash can be covered with a nice layer of turned earth, or at least covers the area where hives are burned with turned earth to ensure that any remaining endospores are safely buried and the scent of the wax, propolis, and honey is masked by the fresh earth... or at least burn hives in an upright position so that the stores will be effectively consumed by the heat of the fire...

    When handling a hive that has an infection, it is also best to sterilize your equipment before leaving the yard and certainly before moving on to inspect the next hive... hive tools can carry more build up than one may expect, and cotton is an exceptional means of holding endospores... although the contaminants are small in numbers, the fact that the carrier agents are fresh and applied directly to the brood areas (such as honey on a hive tool), can lead to spreading the infection from the previous colony...

    Lab safety supply (not sure of the web address) is a company that provides good protective gear such as the external clean suits that we use over bee suits or regular clothing, 8 mil vinyl gloves that work well as bee gloves or can be worn over conventional gloves, boot covers, and most importantly surgical scrub containing alcohol in the brand name if Alcare or Anisept...
    Last edited by rrussell6870; 10-13-2011 at 02:24 AM.

  16. #56
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Yes, there are definately some people who seem to have more than their share of AFB, and it is usually down to some kind of carelessness. I even have known someone who has worked as a manager or senior worker for 3 different commercial outfits, and AFB became a big problem in each outfit while he worked in it. Then he started his own beekeeping business and got a major AFB problem in his own hives. At least it was his money down the drain that time, not somebody elses.

    So a lot of it is about the beekeeper and his methods.




    I've shown this pic on beesource before, but a lot of people here haven't seen it, so here is a picture of a case of AFB in one of my own hives. The way the dead larva is roping out is considered conclusive proof of AFB. The color is also like coffee with milk.
    To identify the infected cell in the first place, the capping will usually be slightly sunken or mishapen, often with a hole in it. It will be a little darker than the other cappings, and sometimes have a slightly greasy look. the comb in this pic has a bit of a greasy look, but that is caused by the gasoline I poured in to kill the bees.


    Below is what happened next, same day I found the infection. In my country the use of drugs on bees is illegal, any hive discovered with AFB must be burned, by law. At least that removes susceptible hives. It is also prescribed the size of the hole that has to be dug to burn it in, and that it must be covered straight after burning.



    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #57
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    A very famous man who I had the fortune to get to know and talk to as a young man used to take AFB slime and prime queen cells before grafting. This is the direct innoculation method. Not every queen larvae survived the innoculation. The ones that did, their offspring were resistant to AFB because they carried the genetic trait for resistance. Thus the trait was proven to carry on through subsequent crossings of lines of bees. At this time in the industry, AFB was rampant and kicking beekeepers in the butt. The bee became famous as the MRAZ bee and the beekeeper was CHARLES MRAZ-one of the true innovators in American beekeeping. NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY>>>TED
    Champlain Valley Apiaries Established by Charles Mraz (1905-1999), the firm is entering its third generation of proprietorship. Charles’ grandson Charles E. Mraz has moved back to Middlebury from New York City where he has been a senior project supervisor with Sciame Construction Co. Inc. for the past eight years.
    Not pictured are the approximately 1200 hives located in the Champlain Valley, from Orwell, VT to the Canadian border.

    http://www.champlainvalleyhoney.com/

    http://www.champlainvalleyhoney.com/video/vpt.html

    BEE HAPPY Jim 134

  18. #58
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    So, once you have hives that have been treated with antibiotics, how do you go back into not depending on antibiotics?

  19. #59
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    So Michael, if you are out there in Cyber land- the question is what did happen to the breeding stock of Mraz AFB resistant Italians? TED
    Unfortunately, Charlie is gone. Gone with him his wisdom and his management in his bees. Before his death in '99, his son Bill took over the management. Bill has since retired...when can you get a retired Mraz to quit working bees...and his son Chaz Mraz has taken over running the apiary.

    To maintain AFB resistance, the bees must be pressured by AFB and they can't be on antibiotics...unless some management like Charlies such as innoculating queen larvae. There is no queen rearing going on now in the Mraz apiary. Bill and now Chaz both use TM. Once Charlie stopped working on his resistant strain, the trait disappeared. I can remember in the 80s when a yard nearby mine was dead or dying and tipped over by the cows and being robbed by the neighborhood. Not a good situation but often how it happens when the primary beekeeper is no longer present in the operation.

    The Mraz family still has good bees and still raise all their own stock by walk away splits...in an attempt to maintain their genetic diversity. My mating yard is 3/4 mile south of one of their yards, so I'm getting some of their's in mine.

  20. #60
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    Default Re: American Foulbrood (afb)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    As a business practice, you always go for the standard (whatever that may be). That's burning. However, standard practices do change when new information becomes a vailable.

    If you can get the spore count low enough, infection can be stopped. Antibiotic treaments can knock out the vegetative cells.
    Not a chance i would be willing to take. And without lab testing how do you know you have the spore count low enough? By the time the results have been given, the disease could spread to more hives.

    On a side note...
    I know in Manitoba, and assume in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and BC, that if a prospective buyer wants to buy bees or hive equipment or extraction equipment, they can call up the provincial apiarist department and ask for any disease history on the seller. As well, at auctions where bees and all bee related equipment is sold, it is posted the disease history of that beekeeper. A beekeeper with the intent to sell hives or packages are the first to be inspected in the spring, with results given to anyone who is looking to buy. As well, if the prospective buyer is willing to buy hives with AFB recent history, that disease history is transfered to the buyer until a minimum of three consecutive years of AFB clean reports.

    AFB = Burn. Those who are trying to reinvent the wheel need a history lesson from a beekeeper who was desimated by AFB, and the surrounding beekeepers also had to fight the problem because it spread. Now when i say this, i am not refering to the experienced keepers who are testing isolated quarantened yards for research purposes. I say this to the keepers who find this in their apiary whether they own 1 hive or...hundreds of thousands of hive.

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