Can't stop the EFB. - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    I'm not saying irradiating all your equipment wouldn't work, I'm stating the feasibility of getting it done is unreasonable for someone in my position.

    Let' say I buy all new equipment and irradiate everything that would ever come into contact with the bees in the future.

    They would still be exposed to EFB as obviously they got it somewhere in the area. A neighbor could have bought a hive from a commercial beekeeper out of state and it died out, from EFB. My hives could have robbed it out and gotten it there, for example. This also goes for OTHER hives in the area.

    Let's say I go through this whole process only for my hives to then again, rob out an infected hive, kept or wild.

    I think my solution is going to be more genetic. I obviously have a line of hives that is able to keep it at bay -the daughters of an original survivor queen from a cutout.

    I surely believe many hives have EFB, like many of us have bacterial infections or virus' - it's how the bees are able to fight it off that's more important to me - cause I doubt the problem is going to go away, even with irradiating everything.

    I called up a friend of mine who keeps about 600 hives here in CA. He had never heard of irradiating equipment so it must not be as common a practice as you make it out to be.

    And the bees are still here, Almond just bloomed and then we have cherry, apple, plum ,etc etc.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    I think the communication is drifting apart here. There is EFB and then there is EFB.
    I did not see a call to nuke every case of EFB, just the need to have an option for the hard core cases.

    From the UK video; Medication is only 5% effective and shook swarm only 53% effective against the ST5 strain. Here nuking is close to a destruction choice.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    I think the communication is drifting part here. There is EFB and then there is EFB.
    I did not see a call to nuke every case of EFB, just the need to have an option for the hard core cases.
    I'd agree, well said.

    Had my cases lead to severe colony deaths or other serious issues - I probably would have just burned everything and quit. If I was a larger operation then irradiating could be a great way to save all your equipment and start over.

    In my case, since the cases have been so minor and I've been able to control them - with some new methods to now try - I don't see it feasible to irradiate in my situation.

    If it get's worse, I'll definitely work with the local club to determine if there is a surrounding issue (which I already know there is) and what we could all do, combined, to try and help remedy it in the area. Bulk irradiation perhaps?

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    Also, most all hives have AFB spores mostly in the honey, and from the above mentioned video, have CBPV in most hives too. It is stressors to the hive/bees that start these pathogens up.
    Proverbs 16:24

  6. #25
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    May 2014
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    Gainesboro, Tennessee
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    Agreed stressors are a big factor in all creatures mineral absorbtion and immunity. Are you keeping mite levels low Mntmyke? That combined with a long winter and possibly a bee that genetically doesn't handle Efb well could be a problem and possibly "the" problem. Just shooting in the dark over here good luck regardless.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  7. #26
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    Mar 2012
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    Catskills, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    It’s his Saskatraz bees I think? He mentioned this in another thread on Saskatraz queens.
    Proverbs 16:24

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    The Saskatraz were the first I noticed it in. I've always raised my own queens and wanted to try bringing in other strains as an attempt to strengthen the yard - my mistake.

    I'm in Central CA, we don't really get winter. The hardest time for my bees is the dearth from August - October. I haven't noticed EFB during the dearth and it only seems to pop up in the spring, when things get wet.

    I'm curious if the wet environment somehow triggers the EFB to rear up. With that, I've also gone as far as installing quilt boxes on top of dry sugar boxes, using a modified/shimmed up inner cover. I find the sugar absorbs most of the humidity and this creates a great snack for the girls during rain storms, when humidity his high anyway. The top quilt box has burlap in it which stays mostly dry but I do take it out on sunny days to fully dry and check the dry sugar between storms.

    I haven't lost a single colony this year, so if I can keep the EFB from returning I'm back to a fully healthy yard.

    My mites are very much in check. Screened bottoms and I just finished a 4x6 OAV treatment - on all my hives excluding the one that doesn't have many mites, naturally, and the queen I'll be breeding when weather improves.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    Good deal myke. Sounds like your really trying to nail this sucker down. I had Efb in most of the 100 colonies that I requeened from Gardners. My friend who ordered a few also had issues. I haven't seen problems with EFB since I got rid of those queens and I still use all the equipment.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  10. #29
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    Jul 2017
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    Sevierville TN
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee's Bees LLC View Post
    Good deal myke. Sounds like your really trying to nail this sucker down. I had Efb in most of the 100 colonies that I requeened from Gardners. My friend who ordered a few also had issues. I haven't seen problems with EFB since I got rid of those queens and I still use all the equipment.
    Did you just pinch the queen and put a cell in or did you treat with antibiotics and then requeen.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    We had mating nucs going so we requeened with our own mated queens. No antibiotics were used and I still don't. I figure if a colony has it the queen is unfit
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    I've had EFB a couple of times. What worked for me was to use Oxytetracycline (the stuff you used be able to buy at Tractor Supply) mixed with sugar water and sprayed the infected brood and bees directly. A fellow beesource member helped with concentrations. Worked very well.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  13. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    I've had EFB a couple of times. What worked for me was to use Oxytetracycline (the stuff you used be able to buy at Tractor Supply) mixed with sugar water and sprayed the infected brood and bees directly. A fellow beesource member helped with concentrations. Worked very well.
    Sadly, that's no longer an option due to new regulations. OTC is now only available through a VFD. I got this and was only able to get TerraPro. It's solved outbreaks just fine but hadn't cured anything. If I could get OTC I'd do exactly what you did.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    OTC and Terra Pro both work the same way - they treat the outbreak by interrupting the transmission of the disease from nurse bees to larvae. Mixed with a carrier (sugar syrup, grease patty, or powdered sugar) which is eaten by the nurse bees , it kills the EFB bacteria in the nurse bees' guts, so they stop infecting larvae when feeding them brood food. Once the larvae stop getting infected, the bacteria stops proliferating in the sick larvae's bodies. EFB is spread when the infected larvae's dead bodies are removed from cells by the nurse bees, contaminating the nurse bees, but not making them sick. It is the contaminated nurse bees that are the vector to fresh rounds of brood.

    But it would be incorrect to expect either OTC or TerraPro to be a permanent "cure" for the colony, any more than if you get a bacterial infection and get treated with an antibiotic, and somehow expected neither you, nor anyone in your household, would ever have another infection in the future.

    The bacteria remain in the hive environment, to some degree, for some period after it has been effectively cleared out of the guts of the living nurse bees, and after the remains of the infected larvae are cleared away.

    OTC only kills the bacteria in the bodies of the nurse bees, not on hive surfaces. It is not a disinfectant.

    For EFB, it's the actual bacteria themselves that remain. In the case of AFB, a different organism completely, it forms very long lasting and infective resting spores which can trigger the disease many decades later. (That's why burning AFB equipment is done, simply to physically destroy it so it can't be reused.)

    EFB bacteria, because they do not form resting spores, have a much shorter life. I have read that 18-24 months is the limit of how long they can survive on surfaces. It probably also varies according to the storage conditions.

    There is a lot of misunderstanding of how treating with OTC works. It arrests the outbreak, but it doesn't remove the causative agent (the EFB bacteria) from the environment. You could think of it as cleaning out the reservoir of the bacteria from the nurse bees, but not from the hive itself. That's what irradiation (and other things like scorching, and even just allowing a lot of time to pass) can do. And it's also why EFB is a recurrent disease - because it is still in the hive after the sick bees have died, and the nurse bees are no longer becoming infected while doing their jobs, and then inadvertently passing it on to fresh larvae.

    There may be some transitory, individual, genetically-based resistance to the infection, but as far as I know there are no bees/queens that can avoid being infected in the presence of enough of a bacterial load. That's why treating all the colonies in a yard, even those not showing overt symptoms is a smart idea.

    One of the most pernicious pieces of information regarding EFB is that treating will lead to weakened bees, susceptible to re-infection. That's completely bogus, and a false conclusion drawn from the recurrence of the disease in subsequent years. It re-occurs because the bacteria on the hive surfaces are not killed by OTC, not because the bees's resistance has become weakened by treatment. When conditions once again are favorable to the disease, if there is a high-enough residual bacterial load in the hive, then a new outbreak can occur. Just like if you get an injury that becomes infected. If you are treated, it will clear up. But if you get another injury, and the same type of bacteria gets in there, you will have another infection. Treating your wound does not make you immune, nor does it clear the bacteria out of the global environment around you. Nor does treating the first infection weaken your chance of treating another one, even if it is the bacteria that caused it.

    The problem with treating hives "prophylactically" (which was done for many years) is that since there are always going to small amounts of this bacteria around, you increase the likelihood that some of the bacteria will become tolerant, and thus when an outbreak does occur they will have some genetic resistance to the treatment. This is why antibiotics sometimes no longer work as well as they did before. Routine/seasonal treatment is not about bee health as much as humans trying to be save themselves time and trouble. Maybe that used be thought a good idea, but we know better now. You don't get up and pop some antibiotics every morning just in case your get an injury that day, do you? Of course, not! You would keep an eye on any injury and wait for the tell-tale symptoms. Same deal with EFB. Only in large operations is was more cost effective to treat 'em all, just in case, without taking the trouble to look for symptoms. Bad idea!

    Nancy
    Last edited by enjambres; 03-06-2019 at 09:25 AM.

  15. #34
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    Default

    ...right.

    This is why I'll be taking the tactic mentioned in this post.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    The last couple of years I have seen fairly high instances of EFB in a few yards. In talking with Randy Oliver last year he indicated that he has also battled it on and off in California. Certain strains he said are problematic. We have always considered EFB to be a stress related manifestation. Cold damp springs, lack of sufficient nectar source, and most importantly insufficient ratio of nurse bees to larvae. Normally it dissipates as the colony progresses and symptoms generally are no longer apparent. Our normal defense is 3-4 rounds of dusting along the top bars. FRESH OTC has always knocked the hell out of it here even in pretty nasty conditions. Oxy breaks down very quickly in syrups, and sunlight is to be avoided. I agree that genetics surely plays a role but colonies with very good queens may also end up stressed for whatever reason. Quite frankly we don't worry about EFB and have never reverted to destroying combs or equipment as a preventative measure. EFB and AFB are always present and may manifest under certain conditions.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    There seems to be a big variance in experience about the relative ease of stopping EFB or preventing its re occurrence. We seem a bit like the blind men and the elephant.

    A couple of points and some conjecture to pick apart; there is considerable mention about the connection with stress. There has been mention that the causative bacteria has the longest survival in bee bread ( pollen and honey in cells. When the colony is stressed by shortage of foragers or weather that reduces incoming pollen the nurse bees dig deeper into old pollen stores in comb rather than using incoming fresh stuff to feed the larvae. Weather conditions and relative strength of the colony could have a controlling effect on whether EFB takes off or not in the spring.

    The article about the various different types of EFB and observations how they respond differently to treatment regimes might be very valuable in deciding how proactive and determined you need to be to prevent reoccurence. Enjambres has made observations that honey supers would also be compromised is scary.

    It seems like EFB could leave you with little to start up again save your knowledge and experience!
    Frank

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    One thing noticed in the presentation is that when destruction of infected hives was the norm, incidence was low. It is likely removing the most susceptible stock is the best long term solution for controlling EFB. Go ahead and treat, with replacement the end goal.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    OTC and Terra Pro both work the same way
    Just to be clear, I was certainly not suggesting that OTC was in anyway a better mode of treatment than Terra Pro. However, the application method I employed (spraying bees, brood, pollen, and nectar) did seem to enhance the effectiveness, but that was simply based upon limited observations - no hard data. I have had a very difficult case of EFB that did require comb removal, but other times it cleared very quickly. I'm no expert on this matter, just dealt with more than once.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I should some day, I just don't go to those things very often, although I'm going to the one this Sat. in Canidagua A friend got tickets for his birthday, he said I was the last one on his list, but no one else was available.
    i wanted to go to this but we have other prior family commitments. Ben and Kimberly will be there .

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Can't stop the EFB.

    Random question, do you have a bunch of pooled water in or around old equipment that the bees drink off of?
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

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