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  1. #1
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    Default European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Sounds like the title to a really bad horror movie, now that I read it. I wonder who would play PMS?

    I am responsible for teaching a section on bee diseases this weekend, and I've put together some slides and done some studying. I am looking for some input and words of wisdom about brood diseases.

    First, it occurs to me that what is actually sacbrood may often get labelled as EFB. It seems to me that brood diseases that are not American Foulbrood (which is really rare in these parts so far as I can tell) automatically get labelled as EFB in practice by lots of beekeepers. Anybody think that's right/wrong or have any relevant thoughts?

    Second, it occurs to me that a lot of folks may confuse the later stages of varroa mites with a brood issue. Any thoughts on that? And, other than telling people to look for mites, does anybody have any guidance about the differences in how frames look between: (a) a PMS meltdown vs. (b) a EFB or sacbrood issue?

    Also, it seems to me that a severe mite problem could actually cause sacbrood to get out of control. Is there any study indicating that mites spread sacbrood virus. I've done some reading that indicates that PMS can look like sacbrood, but sacbrood itself may not be there in those hives, even when it sorta looks like sacbrood.

    Finally, it is my opinion that none of these things are worth treating. If its AFB (and it hardly ever is around here) you are supposed to burn the frames under State law, so that's what I plan to tell the newbees. I also think that most beekeepers around her actually do burn any frames with AFB, which may be why there's so little AFB around here (also it helps that there's hardly any big commercial beekeepers). There's no treatment for sacbrood. If I have a hive that is really struggling with EFB, it either needs get better or be requeened, IMO. Any other thoughts?

    Basically, I'm a beekeeper who is about to try to teach this stuff, and I've had a few issues here and there in my own hives, but not many brood disease issues. Any general words of wisdom for newbees about brood diseases are welcomed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    lafargeville ny usa
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    other than American foulbrood, most of the time brood diseases will clear up with healthy well fed bees. you may lose some badly diseased hives but a nectar flow or a good feeding program and good pollen-sub will cure most hives. limit robbing as much as you can... mites are the hard thing to deal with, monitor and treat as required. the trick is not to let them get out of control, monitor mite population .. as you said the cure for AFB IS A BIG FIRE IMMEDIATLY.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
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    5

    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Iotron Electron Beam Sterilization is suppose to be able to get rid of AFB without having to burn the hive and equipment.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2013
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Will Iotron sterilize pollen without degrading it?
    I wondered as I can purchase pollen that has not been irradiated but have concerns about feeding it as it may carry pathogens.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRB View Post
    Iotron Electron Beam Sterilization is suppose to be able to get rid of AFB without having to burn the hive and equipment.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  5. #5
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilV View Post
    Also, it seems to me that a severe mite problem could actually cause sacbrood to get out of control. Is there any study indicating that mites spread sacbrood virus. I've done some reading that indicates that PMS can look like sacbrood, but sacbrood itself may not be there in those hives, even when it sorta looks like sacbrood.
    NeilV this study points in that direction (see here please http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...170/?tools=bot).
    "In Varroa samples, the following four viruses were identified: DWV (100% of the apiaries), SBV (45% of the apiaries), ABPV (36% of the apiaries), and KBV (5% of the apiaries). The latter findings support the putative role of mites in transmitting these viruses. Taken together, these data indicate that bee virus infections occur persistently in bee populations despite the lack of clinical signs, suggesting that colony disease outbreaks might result from environmental factors that lead to activation of viral replication in bees."

  6. #6
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    Jul 2012
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    lafargeville ny usa
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    one other important thing to cover is how to send samples to the usda bee lab in Beltsville md. this takes the guess work out of identifying problems, and it is free
    Last edited by mathesonequip; 01-21-2015 at 09:23 AM.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2013
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    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    Will Iotron sterilize pollen without degrading it?
    I wondered as I can purchase pollen that has not been irradiated but have concerns about feeding it as it may carry pathogens.
    I'm not 100% sure WBVC, but when you get it sterilized you leave all your comb, honey, and pollen inside the hive that needs it. I do know it's supposed to kill every living organism and pathogens in the hive or that's on the equipment that is being sterilized.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    the reason pollen is irradeated is to kill diseases. I would still consider the origin.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Sacbrood and EFB will die in different larval stages. Sacbrood dies in the capped, prepupal stage but not the pupa stage like AFB. When the prepupal stage is found uncapped, the bees have removed the cappings. Before sacbrood forms the water filled sac the prepupal remains are a straw colored, then grayish, then turning brown with a very dark head and the water filled sac. The remains before the sac is formed keep their shape and are easy to remove, they don't melt the way they do in AFB or EFB. Sacbrood is caused by a virus so the beekeeper can't treat. The only time I have had it in my bees I removed the frames of dead brood (4 from each of 2 colonies), added frames of sealed and emerging brood from other colonies, and requeened the colonies. This cleared up the problem. The last information I read stated that Sacbrood was not transmitted by varroa mites.

    EFB usually dies in the curled stage, before the cell is capped, in the early larval stages. Often the larvae stretch out, but they curl in the cell instead of lying straight. The color changes that I notice in EFB is the loss of the pearly white color, changing to gray/orange with the tracheal lines showing (to me it looks like segments of an orange cut in half). When the larvae decay they do not rope out like AFB. Removing the queen, cutting queen cells and requeening in 10 to 14 days clears EFB up, but if it reoccurs I would shake down the colony onto foundations and feed. Old comb causes problems to linger on in some cases.

    I have never found PMS that formed the water filled sac in Sacbrood. Most of the dead pupa seem to be very dry and they are small, short abdomen pupa. None of the remains will rope as they do in AFB, and I don't notice odor. PMS is much more common than brood disease in my area, I have not seen EFB in my bees in over 10 years, Sacbrood in over 15 and AFB never. Our inspectors report only 11 cases of AFB in over 6000 colonies inspected in Arkansas. PMS has had a new name given to it but I can't remember what it is.
    37 years - 25 colonies - IPM disciple - naturally skeptic

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Lisbon, Portugal
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    PMS may have odor and may mimic AFB (whitout ropiness) or EFB. Sometimes only a PCR may give the answer.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Thanks everyone. Very helpful. If anybody has anything else, fire away.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Will irradiation kill SHB and moth eggs in comb? Would that a viable method of pre-treating frames before storage?

    I tried to find a large freezer building that would store the bins of frames for 30 days or so but no facilities wanted to store them in fear of losing their USDA permit.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2013
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    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Yes it will kill them, but it doesn't mean an adults moth couldn't fly into your storage area and start laying eggs.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Quote Originally Posted by MRB View Post
    Iotron Electron Beam Sterilization is suppose to be able to get rid of AFB without having to burn the hive and equipment.
    Want to rent my IEBS Unit? You'll have to bring me your equipment and come back when I am finished with it.
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  15. #15
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Quote Originally Posted by MRB View Post
    Yes it will kill them, but it doesn't mean an adults moth couldn't fly into your storage area and start laying eggs.
    All of my frames are in sealed bins and would like to take them somewhere (freezer or irradiator) and have them processed while in the bins. As long as the bins aren't opened, adult moths should not be able to get in.
    I can store the bins in a pole barn and only worry about mice getting in, however, with six cats roaming the yard, mice are in short supply.

  16. #16
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    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
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    Default Re: European Foulbrood vs. Sacbrood vs. PMS

    Sounds like a good plan.

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