Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wanted
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  1. #1
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    Default Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wanted

    Hi All,
    I've been on this forum for 3 years and have made several good contacts through it and not to mention that I have even acquired some pretty valuable information from several other members on here as well. I have stated before that one area of beekeeping that I'd like to further my education (practical and formal) in is the presence of diseases in the apiary, more precisely, how to identify-react-treat-/ quarantine and or dispose of those colonies with certain diseases. This is one area where I believe hands-on experience would be crucial, buts it's difficult to get someone who has American Foulbrood to hold off in appropriately taking care of the matter just so someone inexperienced can come by and see it for themselves...and rightly so. It is one thing to read literature on all the diseases that could occur in a bee yard, but it is another thing entirely to put that knowledge into practice. It seems to me that literature is missing something crucial in describing diseases in that there is very little first hand experience described. The very reason I am starting this thread is so that those who have had various diseases could share what it's REALLY like and how to react to those situations. What is it that you did to cure the problem? IF YOU HAVE ANY PHOTOS OF DISEASE SYMPTOMS, DONT HESITATE TO ATTACH THEM. This thread is designed to be purely educational. If you're going to keep bees, you are also going to lose them as well. It's part of the reality, so no poking fun at someone for losing their bees. I almost put this in the commercial forum because I know that those guys know what to look for, but I'm not commercial and the title is fitting for the disease forum. Hopefully this thread won't just die as soon as it's published. I'd like to see it turn into something that everyone can use for everybody's benefit. I think this is a subject somewhat lacking in beekeeping today and it needs to be addressed. Thanks in advance to all who respond!
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Champaign, Illinois
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Have not seen it (AFB) myself. It concerns me that an inspector can order me to give a hive death by fire. Why? I live and keep bees in a city with very strict codes about any open fires. It's not legal to destroy a hive by fire where I live yet it's a law that the state can order it. That's a contradiction.

    If I am ever asked to destroy a colony I will dig the hole and toss the hive into the hole but the inspector is going to have to light the match. I can not do it legally. I'd make a video of the whole thing for when the EPA and city shows up with their ticket-books. I live right by the fire station and maybe they'd show up too. It would be a circus I'm betting.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    On American Foulbrood:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_zUXU9NI2Hg

    Note: different states have different laws concerning hives with AFB, just as Aunt Betty stated.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  5. #4
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    Apr 2005
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    Salem, Oregon
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    One thing about beekeeping;
    Things are not always as they appear.
    One needs to slow down and look closer.
    One example is installation of mouse guards.
    You will not realize how big of a pest mice are until the next year when you do your first hive inspection.
    Here is an example of a reducer / mouse proofer.
    Installed in the fall to keep that hive healthy!!




    Here's another view. Doesn't it look great?

    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  6. #5
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    Pleasant Shade, TN
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Harry, good point on the mouse guards. However, I'm not sure because the pics are a bit grainy on my screen, but those little dots on your landing boards sure do look interesting.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  7. #6
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    chronic bee paralysis.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-Unp1_Hq30

    dead bees out front, for the squeamish don't watch

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LWyiJcUPEo

    dead bees on end of frames and dying bees walking around because they don't know they are dead yet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny_8FwGBYUI

    third one cut short to kill hive beatle.

    I treated this hive with fumidil drench and vitamin C every three days for a month. the hive survived last winter and is going fine now, no sign of the disease returning.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  8. #7
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    Jun 2012
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    King County, Washington
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    I think also Harry is using a little sarcasm about how important it is to keep mite populations down.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Quote Originally Posted by rbees View Post
    I think also Harry is using a little sarcasm about how important it is to keep mite populations down.
    Lol I think he is too. He's keeping more than bees if you ask me.
    On a more serious note, I had a beginner beekeeper who keeps a couple hives call me the other day and ask why their bees were exhibiting behaviors that they'd never seen before. The behavior wasn't strange, as it was simply clustering due to our colder temperatures here lately. Anyways, through more conversation, I find out that this beekeeper didn't even know what varroa mites were. They had no idea of their existence and what they can do to a colony of bees. I gave this person a 5 minute crash course in varroa management and told them to do as much research as possible whether they wanted to treat or not (they didn't want to treat but be organic as possible). They weren't too concerned because they said that they didn't "see any mites on the bees", but the tune changed when I told them that the vast majority of mites are behind capped brood cells sucking hemolymph out of the developing pupae. This is just one more reason why I started this thread. There is a lot of innocent ignorance out there (and I don't mean that in a negative way) that will not only affect those individuals' hives, but also their neighbors and their neighbors' neighbors.
    Thanks for all the replies. Keep em' coming.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  10. #9
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    Apr 2011
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    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Download this useful app for your Android or IPhone thanks to the Alberta beekeepers. When you see something you don't understand you may find the answer here. It's free by the way. http://www.programs.alberta.ca/17713.aspx#ad-image-0
    Dan Boylan, When in doubt "It's mites".

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    I never get away with anything if rbees is around!!
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  12. #11
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    Have not seen it (AFB) myself. It concerns me that an inspector can order me to give a hive death by fire. Why? I live and keep bees in a city with very strict codes about any open fires. It's not legal to destroy a hive by fire where I live yet it's a law that the state can order it. That's a contradiction.

    If I am ever asked to destroy a colony I will dig the hole and toss the hive into the hole but the inspector is going to have to light the match. I can not do it legally. I'd make a video of the whole thing for when the EPA and city shows up with their ticket-books. I live right by the fire station and maybe they'd show up too. It would be a circus I'm betting.
    If you have a place to dig a hole to burn your hive in the Inspector can get a permit allowing you to do so. One can also do a deep burial instead of burning.
    Mark Berninghausen

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Shoot if I get a case of AFB I will burn that colony to ashes. To me it is not worth the risk. AFB is rare but like humans with ebola, AFB can spread and infect quickly and once it has a solid foothold in the area can be devastating to large operations. Rumor has it some yahoo brought a AFB hive for show and tell at one of TN's bigger conferences a couple years ago. It did not go down well haha.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  15. #14
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    Broward County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Here's a link to a key that I made awhile back with the intention to simplify diagnosis of diseases for the beginning and intermediate beekeeper. I know that it could use some work, but i'm hoping it could be useful to some in the meantime.

    http://hivehealth.blogspot.com/

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee's Bees LLC View Post
    Shoot if I get a case of AFB I will burn that colony to ashes. To me it is not worth the risk. AFB is rare but like humans with ebola, AFB can spread and infect quickly and once it has a solid foothold in the area can be devastating to large operations. Rumor has it some yahoo brought a AFB hive for show and tell at one of TN's bigger conferences a couple years ago. It did not go down well haha.
    Which just shows how foolish people can be about some things. What was the problem? Did someone try to steal the comb to put in a beehive? Were people afraid that if they handled it with bare hands that they would carry spores home to their bees.

    It is a lot less communicable then most people think.
    Mark Berninghausen

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Thank you Michael for posting the website with all of the pictures. How helpful!!

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Which just shows how foolish people can be about some things. What was the problem? Did someone try to steal the comb to put in a beehive? Were people afraid that if they handled it with bare hands that they would carry spores home to their bees.

    It is a lot less communicable then most people think.
    That is exactly what I think. The spores cannot be spread by hands? Just hive tools?
    Proverbs 16:24

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    I have been at a beekeeping meeting where they passed around an AFB comb so everyone could see what it smelled like. I don't think this is as unusual as you think.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    Hi maybe you can help unfortunately I don't have any pictures. Opened up my hive yesterday. Real mess had left three frames out and cross burr come all over.

    But that's not the problem. On the lid there was a clear jelly substance about 2 table spoons it was watery like un set jelly. The bees a strong and show no signed of disease. Changed out the lid and added a super. Any ideas?

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Diseases in Beekeeping; How to Identify and What They Look Like-Your Experince Wa

    I checked on the hive 6 weeks ago everything seemed fine lots of bees. Checked the hive 3 weeks later and noticed that there was not as many bees as last time and some the frames lost all their honey stores on the tops of the bars. Seems like half the hive left. I found what i am pretty sure to still be the old queen. We checked the hive again I noticed one bee carrying out a mushy looking larva, so that concerned me also. 3 Bars had alot of dead pupa inside that were not even to the capped stage. Checked the hive on sunday. Queen still there. You can still see small larva, but nothing capped. Barely any capped brood. They look inverted. Im thinking AFB. We grabbed the 2 bars of honey because this hive has failed. Any ideas?

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