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  1. #1
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    Default american foul brood

    after reading the 'unique forum rules', i have reconsidered and would like to continue to be part of this forum.

    i have made my approach known, but i can respect the purpose of this forum and abide by those rules.

    i especially liked sol's invitation to "Feel free to ask any and all serious questions and engage in spirited discussion and learning".

    so here goes.

    i would like to present a hypothetical situation, and solicit responses from those of you who practice treatment free beekeeping regarding what you would do.

    the hypothetical is this:

    you are a beekeeper with 10 hives, have a neighbor a half mile away who is a beekeeper with 6 hives, and you have had feral bees in your vicinity for many years.

    upon inspection, you find what looks like afb. you send a sample for analysis, and it comes back positive.

    what would you do?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Fayetteville, Arkansas
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    How bad is it? Is it a couple cells or is it really bad?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    let's assume multiple cells on more than one frame
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    If you don't burn it it will burn you.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
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    2,442

    Default Re: american foul brood

    I would destroy the AFB colony and hive by burning, be super vigilant with my remaining bees, and give my neighbor a heads up that one of my hives had developed AFB and that it had been destroyed per regulations. I presume AL has a regulation that AFB hives be destroyed by burning.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2002
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    Fayetteville, Arkansas
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    Here's some trivia for you. Dee Lusby would remove a frame with more than 6 cells and burn it. Anything less than that would be left for the bees to clean up. Randy Oliver (I think it was) also mentioned that in the 80's, he developed an AFB-proof strain. He said that he would give them whole frames of AFB infected cells and they would clean it right out in a couple days.

    Personally, I would burn it. I would bag the hive which would suffocate the bees, then move it somewhere and burn it. Or maybe I would burn it on the stand so any debris on the ground would also be burned. I would also sterilize my equipment.

    It is a painful thing to do because all that stuff costs money. Mine cost more because I keep bigger hives. Very few double deeps at any given time here. I wish there was a program where one would pay a couple of bucks per year per hive and receive a disbursement if a hive needed to be burned. Alas, arguments about big government belong in Tailgater. It would be like farm insurance.

    All bees are somewhat resistant to AFB, or they would all have it. AFB spores are found in most hives. A real mess is what happened in northern Africa a while back when queens from France were imported bringing AFB with them. There you would see entire frames of AFB cells and hives completely destroyed by it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
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    182

    Default Re: american foul brood

    They can handle some but the hives have to be super strong. I'd watch it closely and burn if it gets much worse. Make darn sure it doesnt get robbed out. In my opinion feral hives have more resistance to afb. Ive never lost a strong hive to either afb or efb. All my hives have come from feral stock. Actually ive never even seen afb in my hives and ive been keeping bees for about 8 years.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    Well dfortune, I have a three story hive w/ brood in every deep box and scads of bees, a very strong colony. This hive has AFB in every box and in every comb w/ brood in it. It's destined for thge burn barrel.

    Let's not forget now, this is a hypothetical case which the OPer is asking about.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    There is a lot to consider. If your neighbor finds out you have an infected hive they could claim they already lost 6 hives to your negligence. If there are AFB laws in AL, which there are, you could be criminally charged, fined, and assessed for collateral damages. If you really had AFB that hive and others will die soon. Antibiotic treatment only postpones the inevitable with AFB.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
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    182

    Default Re: american foul brood

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Well dfortune, I have a three story hive w/ brood in every deep box and scads of bees, a very strong colony. This hive has AFB in every box and in every comb w/ brood in it. It's destined for thge burn barrel.

    Let's not forget now, this is a hypothetical case which the OPer is asking about.
    I think you will find with bees that everything is influenced by genetics. Thats why i told him to keep a close i on them. Some of the old timers would go through all their hives before the inspector came and hide their afb infected colonies if they only had a few cells infected. Not that im recommending this. Its probably better to just burn it though rather than risk infecting the entire yard.

  11. #11
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    Hypothetically.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  12. #12
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    Jun 2010
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    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    <snip>

    It is a painful thing to do because all that stuff costs money. Mine cost more because I keep bigger hives. Very few double deeps at any given time here. I wish there was a program where one would pay a couple of bucks per year per hive and receive a disbursement if a hive needed to be burned. Alas, arguments about big government belong in Tailgater. It would be like farm insurance.<snip>
    Now, Solomon brings up a couple of interesting thoughts. One: Which states offer a reimbursement for hives that have to be destroyed due to AFB and how much do they provide? Two: Would such a fund be feasible for a club or association to provide? Could an association be formed for just such a purpose?

    -js

  13. #13
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    Beekeeper welfare? What did you pay into the Honeybee Health Insurance Program? Why should the State pay anything for an AFB hive? I never got a penny for any dead sheep.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  14. #14
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Here's some trivia for you. Dee Lusby would remove a frame with more than 6 cells and burn it.
    I think you better check this again. Having spent some time with her and Ed observing their operation, I believe they melted all their comb and reused it. Don't recall burning.
    Regards, Barry

  15. #15
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    That's what I recall, I could be wrong. At any rate, I remember the 6 cells figure pretty vividly. I believe I got the info from Dean Stiglitz somewhere along the way, maybe one of his videos when he was out there to visit.

    I don't imagine it was a big problem. It would have been hounded all over this forum if it was.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #16
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    Apr 2010
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    Warrior, Alabama
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    In some countries they drive the bees friom the comb into a screened box without comb. The bees are kept there for 3 days being feed on sugar water. The comb/frames are burned. the hive body is scorched with flame. After the 3 days the bees are placed into the hive with new frames and foundation. Sometimes the queen is replaced.

    That clears it up. They have tested it. And it works.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  17. #17
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    But not at this time of year. The bees need time to draw out comb and put up enuf stores for winter survival.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  18. #18
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    thanks to all for your replies.

    i agree that destroying the colony by fire before any robbing can occur is preferred and sometimes mandated by law.

    letting the neighbor know is what i hope everyone would do as well.

    old guy, that's the first time i've heard of that approach, do you know where i could read more about it?


    ok, so at this point i would like to thicken the plot, with this modified hypothetical:

    let's assume a hive like mark's big one, three deeps full of bees, all the comb is drawn, and there are lots of stores.

    on inspection, you discover a couple of dozen swarm cells, but the queen has not left. you decide to make 10 five frame nucs, giving each one three frames from the big hive and two frames of foundation. all of the nucs are going into brand new boxes and getting a new queen.

    after a week or two, the nucs are doing great, the queens are laying, and the foundation is nearly drawn.
    you sell 8 of the nucs, and keep 2 for yourself.

    it comes time to transfer your 2 nucs to a bigger box, and in doing so you discover one of your nucs has afb, and more than just a few cells.

    what would you do?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  19. #19
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    Dec 2002
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    Fayetteville, Arkansas
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    In my experience, the nuc would be much easier because my nucs are all made out of plywood. Burning the thing would cost a grand total of $25.

    What I think you're trying to ask, correct me if I'm wrong, is should you do something about the rest, notify the buyers, etc. Is that correct?

    I would say, due to the nature of the disease, just worry about the hive that has it. If a buyer complains, offer a refund. Probably don't breed from that line again.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #20
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: american foul brood

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post

    it comes time to transfer your 2 nucs to a bigger box, and in doing so you discover one of your nucs has afb, and more than just a few cells.

    what would you do?
    I would get those nucs back.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

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