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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Hampstead, NC USA
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    343

    Default Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    I've found & destroyed a hive with AFB in a yard that has 5 other hives. The hive was being robbed but it was only 2 days prior that I had checked this yard and things looked normal. I wasin the process of making 5 double nucs into double 10-frame deeps and had done all but this AFB hive. I needed more eequipment so I returned 2days later & found this hive being robbed. As I mentioned I burned the bees & frames and scorched the boxes.
    I medicated the other 5 hives in hopes that there wasn't robbing going on prior to brood in the other hives that was old enough to not get AFB infection.
    Just wondering if others have had hives with AFB yet still have hives in the same area survive?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Phoenixville, PA
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    581

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    How sure are you that it was AFB?

    Fortunately, I haven't encountered your difficulty, but twice in separate years, different inspectors tagged one of my hives and grabbed a sample. Later I received letters giving a clean bill of health. I suspect if one infected hive is a death sentence to the yard, the inspectors would have tagged all my colonies.

    I applaud your response, but suggest you also discard the boxes. I've read boxes harbor the infection and no amount of treatment can eliminate it.

    PA Dept of Agriculture provides inspections upon request as part of my $10 apiarist licence. If NC does the same, that may provide support for the rest of the yard. Beyond that I suggest a regular watchful eye.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    ottawa, ontario, canada
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    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Keep us posted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Time will tell. You should have taken care of the diseased hive before it got robbed out. But you already know that. Best of luck.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    But to answer your question - no it isn't always. TN is really strict about AFB - they burn any infected hives, quarantine the rest and then reinspect in a few weeks. And we don't have much of it.

    Anyway, a fellow in our club had a hive with AFB that had to be burned, but it didn't spread to the rest of his hives.

    Good luck.
    5Y-25H-T-Z6b-0 winter losses in '14

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    3,527

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Hopefully you are treating with tylosin or tylan as much of the AFB is resistent to terrimyacin variants. I just burned a whole buch of equipment but chose not to treat. I don't want the meds to mask the disease until all my equipment is contaminated and I have to treat as a matter of course. I may be very wrong with that philosophy and if I was anything but a hobbyist, I couldn't afford it. So I am waiting and inspecting regularly. Dadant sells the test kits. I keep a couple on hand so I can check out my suspicions immediately. I have never heard that well scorched boxes were a problem? Anyone else think that?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Hampstead, NC USA
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    343

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    I can't view this video on my phone but I'll see it later-thanks.
    It's interesting that I found the instructions on saving the bees from an AFB infected colony in Ross Conrad's book, "Natural Bee Keeping". He writes about his problems with AFB and how he would treat with TM yet he would continually get infected hives showing up. He then bit the bullet and early one Spring put everything in clean wood with plain foundation and the single "depositary" comb which he removed the next day. He states this cleared up the problem and is since AFB free.
    It is a lot of cost however in NC I can get all the AFB frames of comb that contain anything but honey, sanitized very cheaply which could be a big boost.
    I'll see what happens.
    Thanks
    Howard

  8. #8
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Re the video posted by Nature Coast Beek, I was rather surprised to see this method still being used. It is known as "shook swarming".

    Early last century we had a major AFB problem in my country that reached crisis proportions, nobody really knows but it's thought that as many as 30% of hives could have been infected. There was no legislation around AFB at that time.

    Shook swarming was commonly used to save a colony. However, while it worked most of the time, it didn't always work. The realisation set in that it didn't work often enough, that shook swarming was one of the things causing the on going high AFB infection rates to continue.

    The government acted and made shook swarming illegal, and the burning of AFB infected hives compulsory. Within a few years we went from the country with one of the highest AFB infection rates in the world, to one of the lowest rates in the world.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    608

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Years ago we had an AFB outbreak in our commercial operation after we purchased some bees from an unreliable source. Virginia State inspectors red tagged the colonies but allowed us to shake the bees into new setups on foundation. For several years we continued to fight outbreaks of the disease. Had I known then what I know now we would never had done that. The re-occurrence of infection is high and the constant process of burning all infected equipment is expensive. In my opinion if you find an outbreak in your apiary burn everything and move on. Don't even consider scorching the boxes as it is not 100% effective. There was a study I recall that utilized the shook-swarm method of disease prevention that shook the colony into clean equipment with starter strips of wax foundation at the top of the frames. Once they were partly drawn out those frames were removed the comb destroyed and the starter strips replaced. This was then repeated once again until at last the bees were allowed to drawn out new foundation and utilize it. Feeding was permitted during this process. The results of this study were fairly good but I wouldn't do it if you paid me. The video of the N.J. inspector is irresponsible. I could be wrong (and please correct me if I am) Connecticut and New Jersey are well above the national average for AFB outbreaks in our country.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tineo, Asturias, SPAIN
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    66

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Sorry to hear about this problem. I have three hives with (I am 99% sure) AFB right now - tonight I am sealing them up and tomorrow, depending on the milk test, I will burn them if they test positive. The three have all the classic symptoms - sunken caps on brood, some nibbled on, smell, tongue, black scale (finally saw it today), and ropey boogers.

    I have one more, that one looks great. I bought Terramycin today as a precaution but now I am wondering after reading a post above - would be be better to just leave that hive intreated and wait to see? If they have it and all I do is mask it and later I trap swarms as I plan to do, I don't want to be risking their health.... so perhaps I should just wait and see and not treat?

    I totally understand about being tempted to give up. This is my second summer with bees, I was really excited but this has me down. After pulling a frame today to pull samples for the milk test and to look at closer - I can't get the smell/images out of my head. I keep smelling the stuff on my hands even though I washed them with bleach. I know the stuff doesn't affect humans but I have suddenly got the willies about the stuff - I keep feeling like I must have spores on me that I am spreading around the house and the property. I know, it's weird.

    Good luck challenger, I hope the rest of your hives stay clean, and wish me luck too, with only one good hive left I am going to have a sad summer if I end it with NO colonies.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Quote Originally Posted by ForrestB View Post
    ropey boogers.
    That is the most easy part to diagnose and very reliable.

    Forrest often a hive will not get AFB, even right next to a badly infected one, so don't give up on the hive. But the infected ones sound bad, yes burn, no option.

    In my country drugs to treat AFB are illegal in a situation like yours with the clean hive, we just have to quarantine the hive from other hives for 12 months & see what happens, after 12 months they are considered OK. But I suspect in the US some may advise to use terramycin, this would mean that if a few spores have got into the good hive, the terramycin would prevent it forming the vegetative stage, and so stop the infection spreading. So it can work. But the down side is after you stop using terramycin there could be some spores left (spores are not killed by terramycin), and the disease will flare up.

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
    Posts
    343

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    I'm on my 6th year and this season is my best by 2-3 fold (not done extracting).
    The AFB has not appeared again YET. I am always waiting to find it. I'm a pessimistic person-just being real, and I feel I've learned enough to know I can't think I am completely out of the woods. Last year I got 0 honey due to AFB but mostly due to poor varroa control. I treated too late the year before. After last years problems I decided to try and grow my bee numbers by splitting a lot. I had all but one hive with virgin queens and brood less periods. This caused me to forego treating last year and I over wintered several double nucs and about the same number of double deeps. The nucs did better and I lost only one due to starvation and another to AFB (not confirmed but fried anyway). I lost 3 double deeps but the reason for this is unknown. The one hive I didn't treat went from a booming hive that I thought would give me 100 lbs to a varroa infected lost cause. Brood was hammered and DWV bees were very abundant. The hives that had brood less times grew like mad and I did a single formic flash in the Spring so everything worked well this year. I AM going to treat as soon as I can after I take honey.
    I am lucky we have a very cheap fumigation service at NC State. My inspector comes and transports everything.
    I still think I would do a shook swarm IF I had a ton of bees in an AFB hive. I purchased Linkomix and used it one a few nucs that were in the yard with this years AFB nuc. If I were a big operation I don't think it would be possible to keep track of a lot of shake outs. I also feel scorching boxes works but it is a personal choice. I flamed the hell out of every empty box I had this Spring to the point that they are charred completely. I have a rather large flame thrower so it is very easy to do & my inspector says it's OK even though I'd rather get them based. Timing isn't always favorable for this.
    I think throwing the bees into clean equipment, letting them puke out all traces of stomach contents into drawn comb, and then destroying this comb followed by a couple of rounds of antibiotics does the trick but, again, that's just me.

  13. #13
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Look at it this way. If you found a swarm hanging in a tree, but was told it was known to come from a hive infested with AFB, would you take that nice new hive you just bought, and spent the whole weekend assembling, painting, etc, and put that swarm in it? Would you risk it?

    That's what shook swarming is. All you are saving is some bees KNOWN to have come from an AFB infested hive.

    Yes, it's known to work, but yes, it's also known that it does not always work.

    As an ex commercial beekeeper I've had to deal with AFB. My method, burn everything. Problem solved, cheaper in the long run, this has always worked well.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,727

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    I am grateful that I do not have AFB. But after dealing with EFB for the last 3 weeks, in the case of AFB I am an advocate of dig a pit, seal the bees in and kill with dry ice/co2, put everything in the pit, and torch it.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
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    2,443

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    As I recall the NJ video called for some specific circumstances - a very populous hive and a flow underway are the two that come to mind now. If you don't meet those two conditions (and there may be more) a shook swarm isn't going to have the desired results!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
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    888

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Oldtimer " My method, burn everything. Problem solved, cheaper in the long run, this has always worked well. "
    Burn everything meaning the complete hive ( I agree) or all hives in the yard ( I would find this excessive)
    All my hives are numbered. When I extract I return the frames to the hive they came from. I clean my hive tool between each hive. After each inspection I " burn" the hive tool in metho.
    I record where every frame comes from when I do splits. I sterilise equipment ( eg SHB traps) after washing if they go into a different hive....
    We can reduce the risk but we will never eliminate it totally.

  17. #17
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Just the hive not the whole yard!

    Sounds like you take all the precautions Max, is there much AFB in Aussie?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
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    888

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Plenty of it along our coastal belt. Not sure about the rest of the country.
    Professionals apparently are using antibiotics which are not legal.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Hampstead, NC USA
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    343

    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Quote Originally Posted by max2 View Post
    Oldtimer " My method, burn everything. Problem solved, cheaper in the long run, this has always worked well. "
    Burn everything meaning the complete hive ( I agree) or all hives in the yard ( I would find this excessive)
    All my hives are numbered. When I extract I return the frames to the hive they came from. I clean my hive tool between each hive. After each inspection I " burn" the hive tool in metho.
    I record where every frame comes from when I do splits. I sterilise equipment ( eg SHB traps) after washing if they go into a different hive....
    We can reduce the risk but we will never eliminate it totally.
    That sounds like way way way took much work. How can you take all these prophalictice measures and still get work done? Do you have AFB in your yards? If no then is there a lot of it locally?
    With all the work required to get honey and/or keep bees healthy & alive while dealing with the "normal" pests/problems there is no way I'd keep bees if I had to*take the measured you describe. If AFB is that prevalent in your area then I'd say it is impossible to keep every little hive bit/piece sanitized.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Look at it this way. If you found a swarm hanging in a tree, but was told it was known to come from a hive infested with AFB, would you take that nice new hive you just bought, and spent the whole weekend assembling, painting, etc, and put that swarm in it? Would you risk it?

    That's what shook swarming is. All you are saving is some bees KNOWN to have come from an AFB infested hive.

    Yes, it's known to work, but yes, it's also known that it does not always work.

    As an ex commercial beekeeper I've had to deal with AFB. My method, burn everything. Problem solved, cheaper in the long run, this has always worked well.
    You make a good point. It is a debatable topic with no joyful aspects.
    I'll not go back & forth with the shake methods-it would never end. Like a lot of things-what works for some may not for others.
    I would certainly say that using an antibiotic for anything other than a preventative measure for having AFB spread is dangerous and a waste of money.
    Personally, even though my hives seem to be under control, I'd like to get every bit of equipment I'm not using this winter fumigated. Next year I'd like to have it all in one out yard and have that with its own set of beekeeping equipment stored in a tote. Smoker, suit you name it. Then I could come and go without worrying about cross contamination.
    This has become a depressing thread I must say.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Is one hive witb AFB a death senetence to entire apiary?

    Using terramycin not only masks the symptoms so you can't tell if you still have a problem, it makes them more susceptible to the disease because it kills off the microbes that protect them. Most countries don't allow you to use antibiotics, because they mask the symptoms they just require burning.

    http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/live...onclusions.pdf

    "The main brood diseases are American foul brood and European foul brood. The American foul brood is a disease requiring notification. No treatment options were available for the American foul brood and treatment with antibiotics is not allowed, as they do not kill the highly resistant spores. For American foul brood the destruction of infected colonies is compulsory. Also for the European Foul Brood there were no real treatment options. In some countries the use of antibiotics was permitted under certain circumstances, i.e. under veterinary supervision and applying long withdrawal periods. Therefore, usually the infected colonies were destroyed."

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0033188

    "We have demonstrated by both in vitro and in vivo studies that the LAB microbiota in A. mellifera inhibit one important honeybee pathogen, the bacterial brood pathogen Paenibacillus larvae that is the cause of the brood disease American foulbrood (AFB)..."

    "Thus, our results strongly suggest that LAB linked to the honeybee crop have important implications for honeybee pathology, particularly for bacterial brood diseases such as AFB and EFB. Honeybees are considered to have only about a third of the innate immune genes compared to other insects. In addition to social defences that accrue to social insects, individual honeybees may also benefit from their LAB symbionts, which are probably of great importance in pathogen defence, possibly further reducing dependency on the innate immune system.

    "In order to secure honeybee pollination services, A. mellifera beekeepers replace harvested honey by feeding sugar solutions, occasionally mixed with antibiotics for prophylactic control of honeybee-specific bacterial diseases of bee brood such as AFB and microsporidia. It is known that LAB antibiotic susceptibility varies. In vitro culturing of the 13 Apis individual LAB members with two antibiotics used in apiculture (oxytetracycline and tylosin) demonstrated high sensitivity of all to Tylosin, the most recently employed antibiotic within apicultural practices in the USA. Nevertheless, strains L. kunkeei Fhon2 and Lactobacillus Fhon13, Hma11, Hma8 and Hon2 showed resistance to oxytetracycline that may reflect the extended use of this antibiotic in apiculture or their long-term exposure to environmental microbes from the surrounding environment that produce similar substances. The negative effects on honeybee health from damaging the honey crop microbiota by the use of these antibiotics need to be investigated further."--Symbionts as Major Modulators of Insect Health: Lactic Acid Bacteria and Honeybees, Alejandra Vásquez, Eva Forsgren, Ingemar Fries, Robert J. Paxton, Emilie Flaberg, Laszlo Szekely, Tobias C. Olofsson
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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