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Thread: EFB options

  1. #41
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    They aren't magical, but their level of genetic diversity is very high compared to the average commercial queen in the U.S. Genetic diversity gives them a better chance of having genetics to resist diseases.
    A commly held belief that seems not so much in at least the post varroa age, moving bee means moving genetics

    “the feral bees in our study region are of recent origin, we found higher genetic diversity in managed than feral honey bee colonies”
    “Feral bees had a stronger immune response, even though they were less diverse. However, our findings indicate that the increased genetic diversity of managed A. mellifera may not bear fitness benefits thatcorrelate with immunocompetence. Our results support that management increases genetic diversity in honey bees probably as a result of admixture among progenitor populations as honey bee queens are shipped among regions (Harpur et al. 2012). Domesticated species are generally thought to be less genetically diverse than are their wild relatives (Wang et al. 2014). However, honey bees are unique in that feral bees are derived from domesticated lines in their nonnative range. In addition, honey bees, even when managed, undergo a mix of local breeding, regional dispersal, and natural reproduction among hives from different sources. Yet, what is interesting is that despite this diversity of managed bees, they are less rather than more immunocompetent than the feral populations, suggesting that while diversity matters to immune function, so may the ability of natural selection to increase the frequency of resistant varieties.”

    López-Uribe1 Et Al 2017 http://elsakristen.com/docs/LopezUri...y_immunity.pdf
    Diversity is a double edge sword, ferals have had diversity removed as they have been subject to MORE selective pressures… think about it, the whole point of a bond program is a whole bunch of the diversity dies off.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I agree that previous testing seemed to indicate that hygienic bees were EFB susceptible, but it is not proven that there is a linkage between the traits. In other words, it is very likely that bees can be selected for both hygienic behavior and EFB resistance.
    Problem is you can’t select for what you don’t have. Hygienic behavior stocks were sussfully selected do to the ability to easily empirically test the trait.
    But it has been done.. The early Weaver program was left with EFB/chalk plagued stocks after bonding out a few thousand hives, they had to work very hard to combine efb/mite restiance
    it has also failed, Kefuss was able to turn around the EFB issues in his Chile stock, but never got the mite restiance up top TF like he had in France

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    I think feral bees would quickly develop resistance should a new efb type come through but for a while it would be miserable. I am interested to see how studied feral bees do should an disease outbreak like this hit them.
    Well I am not sure they developed genetic resistance to the old EFB to begin with, centuries of “bond” and bees are still sustibult to it
    in his book (1853) Quimby notes “Mr. Weeks, in a communication to the N.E. Farmer, says, "Since the potato rot commenced, I have lost one-fourth of my stocks annually, by this disease;"

    “Mr. Quimby said foulbrood was not as bad in 1870 as it had been ten years earlier. (This was probably because Italian queens were just being introduced and they are more resistant to European foulbrood)”
    https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...+producers.pdf

    About 100 years of “bond” between Quimby recognizing foulbrood and the “invention” of antibiotics… and it still plagues us as it plaged them pre treatment era

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Now that deserves more information. On a local level, feral bees would tend to stabilize genetics meaning that bringing in managed bees would increase diversity "OF THE FERALS". On a regional or nationwide basis, would you argue that the managed or feral bees have more diversity? Be careful with this one as there is indeed a study showing very low genetic diversity in commercial queens.

    This is more telling.

    "These findings suggest that genetic diversity is positively associated with immunocompetence in feral honey bee colonies, and that the benefits of genetic diversity are obscured in managed bees, perhaps as a result of artificial selection. We hypothesize that high genetic variability provides the raw material upon which natural selection acts and generates adaptive genotypes in unmanaged populations. Feral populations could be useful sources of genetic variation to use in breeding programs that aim to improve honey bee health."

    Seems to me that this counters most of what you attempted to posit.

    As for selecting for EFB resistance, that would be fairly easy to do empirically. Set up disease challenge experiments. One way it could be done non-destructively would be to capture a test population from each colony and challenge them with EFB to see which are least affected. Then breed from the colonies that have the best test results.

    The study you quoted is testing for "immunocompetence". While it is a valid research result, this was not shown to correlate directly with EFB or AFB resistance. It is kind of like having general disease resistance to bacteria, but maybe still susceptible to viruses or vice versa.

    This does not come even close to the common house fly which has resistance genes far more advanced than most other insects. If the honeybee had the resistance genes of the house fly, we might currently be overwhelmed with hordes of honeybees.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  4. #43
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    On a regional or nationwide basis, would you argue that the managed or feral bees have more diversity?
    Harper EtAl 2012 Management increases genetic diversity of honey bees via admixture.

    "Reduced genetic diversity is a common feature of domesticated animal and plant populations (Brufordet al. 2003) that has been implicated as a cause of col-ony declines in honey bees (Oldroyd 2007; vanEngels-dorp & Meixner 2010). However, we observe an opposite pattern: managed populations have more genetic diversity when compared with their progenitors in E. and W. Europe"

  5. #44
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Two things help with diseases, keeping fewer colonies per yard, and regular comb renewal. Comb renewal in particular is associated with healthier colonies of bees.... I expect to renew about 1/4 of the combs in my hives each year going forward. This is fairly easy to do with spring splits by letting each split build a few new combs while culling older combs. Brother Adam wrote that comb renewal is an important factor in disease prevention.
    i really apprecicate you sharing that dar.

    as i sort through my deadout frames i am noticing that more often than not the dying broodnests are on the oldest combs that date back to 2010 and early 2011. i'm able to date them back to then because i started with different types of frames and foundation and then switched.

    most of these older frames have already been put on the burn pile because they were too nasty with dead brood, old stale pollen, and even entombed pollen; all of which are next to impossible to clean up.

    i plan to reduce the number of hives per yard to some degree, but mostly i plan to spread them out as much as i can to individual spots putting distance between them and facing them in different directions. i'm taking my 8 foot long wooden stands that have been holding a row of three hives each and cutting them up into 4 two foot single hive stands.

    i'll also minimize the sharing equipment from one hive to the next. this will put a dent in my checkerboarding ect. but i like the idea of feeding in new frames each year. performing an artificial swarm on most hives early in the build up and replacing those frames with new foundationless frames is likely the way i'll go with that.
    Last edited by squarepeg; 05-10-2019 at 09:24 PM.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #45
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    EFB is a bit of an odd duck, hygienic behavior is ineffective against it, and in fact, Hygienic stocks tend to be EFB susceptible, something to think about in terms of VSH and selecting for mite resistance.
    In Denmark they had serious problem with AFB in the 90's and started a breeding program, selecting for hygienic behaviour. First they selected for 100% in 48 hours and now they have been selecting several years for 100% removed in less than 24 hours. There is zero tolerance to compromise regarding this. All queen breeders and producers are involved and all breeder queens are selected for no less than 100% in 24h. They also have zero tolerance for nosema.

    Now a days they have no or very little problems with AFB, EFB , chalkbrood or sacbrood.
    In 20 years they have improved their bees., so that export is now a big part of their queen sales.

    VSH behaviour might be a different case...

  7. #46

    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    Although I strongly advocate the use of test kits, I have found so far that it is very clear what you are looking at, maybe my local EFB and AFB are different, but FWIW:

    EFB: affects larvae PRE-capping...you see youngish larvae dry, yellowing and dying. Older larvae die and if old enough die twisted snout up against the side of the cell (the famous "tummy ache position"). They turn a dirty yellow-brown and quickly rot down into a grey-brownish gelatinous goo. The remains are not elastic and stringy. Scale looks golden brown like crispy fried chicken skin (hope you are not having dinner).

    AFB: affects larvae POST-capping. Capping looks rough, sunken, and/or often has ragged off-centre holes or cracks. Larvae dies and rots into a dark orange-brown snotty goo that strings out easily. Scale tends to be black-brown.

    Odour: there is none until the condition is catastrophically advanced and by that time has probably spread into nearby hives. Early detection through frequent inspections is critical in control.

    Brood Pattern: because the bees try to remove dead brood, you are left with a shotty brood pattern. Although that can also be a feature of a failing queen, the difference is in foulbrood the queen tries to re-lay up the empty cells, so you end up with brood of all ages mixed in that shotty frame. I see that now and my heart goes cold...and I immediately look for the dead and dying brood....and get out my test kits.
    I wish it was that simple. Anyway, the procedure I do is always the same. Shaking(once) to clean frames, food frames from clean hives.

  8. #47
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    ...the procedure I do is always the same. Shaking(once) to clean frames, food frames from clean hives.
    by shaking to 'clean' frames do you mean frame with no drawn comb on them or frame with comb from 'clean' hives?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #48

    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    by shaking to 'clean' frames do you mean frame with no drawn comb on them or frame with comb from 'clean' hives?
    They are drawn frames from any clean colony. And by clean I mean no visible signs of sickness, but as my honey samples testified there might be bacteria in them. But breeding for disease resistance needs diseases.

    The sick hives frames are marked with red pen, to recognize, and melted when autumn comes.

  10. #49
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    Default Re: EFB options

    understood juhani, thanks for the reply.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #50
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    Default Re: EFB options

    a copy of the email i sent to beltsville this am:

    "Greetings Dr. Evans,


    My name is **** and I am a beekeeper located in northeastern Alabama.

    I had a recent outbreak of what appears to be a quite virulent strain of EFB. I first I noticed poor capped brood patterns and discolored young larvae in a few colonies in late March of this year. Not having experienced EFB prior to this I misinterpreted what I was seeing as chilled brood.

    After realizing it wasn’t chilled brood I ordered VITA test kits for EFB. There was about a two week delay from ordering to receiving the kits and having the time and weather to do the sampling. Test results were postitive.

    From late March to late April, 5 out of 9 colonies in one yard and 5 out of 11 colonies in another yard succumbed and dwindled so badly that I euthanized them. 3 out of 3 colonies at another yard are not affected as of yet. I went ahead and obtained a VFD for terramycin and now have it on hand for possible use going forward.

    I have since discovered that there are several new beekeepers within flying distance of the affected yards who have imported bees from out of the area. None of them have successfully overwintered a colony resulting in almost 20 deadouts over the past 3 years. I can’t be sure but I'm guessing this to be the most likely source.

    I have been combing the literature and trying to bring myself up to speed with EFB. I have a few questions that I hope you may be able to help with.

    1. I see that in the U.K. MLST is being performed on isolates from the VITA test kits to determine the sequence type and to some degree suggesting a course of action for remediation. Is anything like being done here in the U.S.?

    2. Does Beltsville test positive EFB samples sent to it for resistance and sensitivity to Terramycin?

    3. I was surprised to learn that melissococcus plutonius can survive in honey and on comb for quite a long time and exposure to it can result in new infections. Are you able to confirm that this is happening based on your experience with the samples sent in for processing at the Bee Research Lab?

    4. After euthanizing the colonies I brought in the equipment to include quite a few honey supers of drawn comb most of which had not been filled with new honey yet. I have washed this comb with mild pressure from the garden hose, use an air compressor to dry it, and then applied a spray of 3% bleach. Is it possible to have this comb sampled to see if it still holds melissococcus plutonius?

    5. I am currently speaking with a gentleman who has an adjunct position at Alabama A & M University in Huntsville. He is involved with their irradiation lab. I am interested in having all of the equipment irradiated, but it doesn’t look like that facility is going to work for this application. Are you aware of any industrial irradiation facilities (other than Sterigenics in New Jersey) that offer sterilization of bee equipment?


    Sincere thanks,

    ****"
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #51
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    Default Re: EFB options

    a few lessons learned:

    1. it was a little over 2 weeks from the time i realized i needed efb field test kits and had them in hand on a non-rainy day to perform the test. part of this was not considering efb when i first saw sick larvae. part of this had to do with placing the order during the suppliers' peak busy season. opportunity was lost with respect to trying to save the colonies as well opportunity was gained with respect to the spreading to neighboring colonies.

    2. it was even longer than that before i had terramycin on hand. it took a couple of days to get the vfd (veterinary feed directive) from the vet in order and again the wait time on delivery.

    3. the first terramycin i received is a product called 'tetroxy hca-280 soluble powder'. this stuff is 10 times more concentrated that the commercially available powders available from bee suppy companies. only 2 tablespoons has to be mixed with 2.5 lbs of powdered sugar to get it to the appropriate strength, and i don't have the means to blend in a way to ensure a uniform mix. it took only 1/8 tablespoon of this stuff to mix with 1 quart of syrup.

    i think it would be prudent for all to consider having a test kit or two on hand.

    technically vfd's are not supposed to be issued without a confirmed case, but if you happen to be friends with a vet...

    it would also be prudent to have some kind of plan in place with respect to treatment or not, euthanization, destruction, removal to an isolated yard, ect. should this bug rear it's ugly head in your apiary.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #52
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_B View Post
    I was checking my hives yesterday and saw what looked like EFB in two hives. There was no smell, but they had poor brood patterns and yellow/brown larva. One hive had been weak all spring but I thought it was just a failing queen, but the other had been strong until this inspection. Is there anything else it could be or of EFB a safe assumption?

    Attachment 48315


    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    looks just like the efb i have.


    (i copied eric's post here because of the good description and photo)
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #53
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    Default Re: EFB options

    I kill the queen if signs of EFB arise and there are low mite levels. Mites can stress bees to the point where Efb looking symptoms arise. Elminating the mites and having a flow or feed on, often clears this up. As far as removing combs I have never noticed bees performing better on young combs. My bees are doing great in 16 year old combs that have all had viruses and efb at some point.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  15. #54
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee's Bees LLC View Post
    I kill the queen if signs of EFB arise and there are low mite levels. Mites can stress bees to the point where Efb looking symptoms arise. Elminating the mites and having a flow or feed on, often clears this up. As far as removing combs I have never noticed bees performing better on young combs. My bees are doing great in 16 year old combs that have all had viruses and efb at some point.
    Mite stress on bees can definitely produce what is commonly called Varroasis, and which looks a lot like foulbrood. This is why using the Vita Life test kits is so important. You absolutely need to know what you are dealing with before making decisions/following advice.

    As mentioned earlier, other things can look like European Foulbrood (EFB). Chilling, starvation, varroasis. But those things will not give you a positive test result with the EFB test kit, and can be remediated by feeding and improved management.

    EFB (and AFB) are not, in my experience, cleared up by anything short of drastic measures involving oxytetracycline, shook swarming and sterilization/destruction of all affected equipment. And even then, if the source of your EFB/AFB is outside your control you are going to be reinfected.

    If drift bees are bringing foulbrood into your apiary you can (once you address your own affected colonies) put on robbing screens. If your bees are robbing out infected colonies, there is nothing you can do but move your bees away from the source of infection.

    As SquarePeg has noted, once you have actual foulbrood in your operation, it can be a real struggle to get it out.

  16. #55
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    Default Re: EFB options

    ok so what does everyone do to kill the hive with out spreading the EFB, we have had 3 people that have never used chemicals come down with EFB, had never seen it since I started keeping bees, so this is what we did for one of the hives. critiques welcome.

    1. so my friend found a hive with EFB, we went in with nitrile gloves and took a sample and sent to beltsville.
    2. treated all the hives in the yard with terramycin, every three days until the results came back, kept treating until yesterday cold and raining.
    3. so we tried the alcohol, 2 pint bottles, the hive was 3 deep with an extra honey super from last year. blocked the entrance, taped one hole in the deep, sprayed the alcohol onto the inner cover and outer cover to kill the bees that were there, put some down the inner cover hole. lifted the inner cover a small amount spraying the alcohol at the bees trying to get out, then sprayed the first bottle down between the frames, closed the hive up for 10 min.
    4. bees still alive, sprayed the second bottle. waited 15 min, bees still alive. got out the kerosene added that, waited 10 min.
    5. removed the first honey super and bagged it, bees still alive below, more kerosene.
    6. removed deep bagged it. kept repeating kerosene and bagging until down to the last deep. still some bees alive.
    7 filled outer cover with some kerosene tried to bag the last deep with bb attached, bb separated but got the rest of the alive bees to drop into the outer cover and die.
    8. removed gloves and regloved and put the bags into the back of my truck, some small holes noted by the diesel in the back of the truck. back of the truck now polluted with EFB potential.
    9. brought them to my house, put on a new set of gloves, loaded them on a skid on my tractor, skid now polluted.
    10. burned all the frames in 55 gal drum, no bees from that apiary flying due to sleet and freezing rain, wind changed direction had to move the tractor, steering wheel, shifter now polluted.
    11. burned everything except the boxes, including the gloves and plastic bags, waiting for the EPA to show up.
    12. boxes will be cut up and put in the trash for burning.
    13. Plan on treating the remaining colonies for two more treatments, should be about one complete brood cycle. sprayed skid with alcohol, cleaned tractor parts with alcohol, ran out of alcohol, tried to sneak some vodka out of the house got caught, going to buy some more, put it on the skid in the back of the truck and then wash it out.

    one thing to note about the alcohol, I was told by a nurse once it's the evaporation that kills the bacteria, it dries them out, so I let it dry and didn't wipe it off.

    so far the two previous people that had efb, treated with terramycin, but ended up burning as it came back to the same hives, so I'm just burning.
    edit: washed the bee suits added bleach
    Last edited by wildbranch2007; 05-13-2019 at 08:03 AM.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  17. #56
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Too many steps. Do this late evening or after dark when all the bees are in the hive.

    1. dig hole at least 2 feet deep
    2. seal colony
    3. place colony in hole
    4. apply flammable liquid
    5. strike match
    6. after it is fully burned, use the tractor to fill in the hole.
    7. Wash all of your bee equipment such as smoker and hive tool with acetone. Launder bee suit with detergent.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  18. #57
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    Default Re: EFB options

    In my municipality you cannot burn. Period. So that is not an option here.

    I euthanize the hives after sunset or just before dawn while the bees are all in cluster and not flying. Note NOT FLYING!!! If you do this when the foragers are out they will just find homes in nearby hives and spread the pathogen.

    I quietly stuff the entrance with a rag. I carefully open the hive, holding the inner cover in my left hand. I take a large bottle of Walmart rubbing alcohol and dribble it all down the seams, working from one end of the colony over to the other, seam by seam. I reserve enough in the bottle such that I can hold the inner cover over the colony and dribble the rubbing alcohol over any workers on the inner cover. The cover is replaced and the upper entrance, if any, is stuffed with a rag, sealing the hive. Cover the hole in the inner cover if you have one. Replace the outer cover, let the hive sit for a few hours to be sure all bees are dead, but they are all dead pretty much right away anyhow.

    That contains the sick hive and contains spread.

    Disposing of the equipment: if your local municipality/fire department does regular burnings you can carefully bag the equipment in thick black plastic bags, 3 mil., as those bags do not perforate as easily as garbage bags. I scrub out the truck bed after transporting, away from the beeyard, with a pressure washer. If the bagged equipment has to be stored for a while ensure that the bags are not breached (by perforations or rats) and that bees cannot get into them to rob the infected stores.

    You can also bury the equipment, or take it for sterilization if you have access to an irradiation facility. Don't try to save the honey or stores...not worth the risk and there is some concern they do not sterilize well via irradiation.

    Note that all deadouts left open get robbed. If bees doing the robbing are infected, that can leave your deadout equipment infected too. So either seal deadouts until you can take them down, or take them away somewhere bee proof until you can deal with them.

    It can take a season or two to clear the apiary.....just because it is so darned hard to get all the infected equipment/stores out of reach of the bees. And of course, depending on what is around you, reinfection can be a risk.

  19. #58
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Too many steps. Do this late evening or after dark when all the bees are in the hive.

    1. dig hole at least 2 feet deep
    as they say all beekeeping is local, digging the hole around here would take forever, and the owner of the land would shoot me, but I did think of it, thanks
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  20. #59
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    Default Re: EFB options

    randy oliver offers this advice with respect to afb, but some of it is applicable here:

    "The scorching only needs to be enough to brown, not char the wood surface,
    and get any wax or propolis to soak into the wood. What we use is a
    paraffin hot tank at 300F (160C recommended by others), to sterilize the
    boxes, bottom boards and covers, and dispose of the bees and combs as does
    Paul above.

    First kill the bees in the evening by plugging the entrance, lifting the
    lid, and sprinkling in a half cup of lacquer thinner or ethyl acetate
    (neither will contaminate the wood as would gasoline). This quickly kills
    the bees. If burning the combs, be careful with gasoline, as it can cause
    an explosion that can result in the combs flying all over the landscape.

    Another alternative is to perform a "shake and bake" -- shake all the bees
    into a new hive with combs of foundation (no drawn comb), and then burn all
    the combs of the infected hive. Feed the new hive oxytet or tylosin in
    syrup for the first two weeks after transfer. I've done this a number of
    times with great success."

    from: https://community.lsoft.com/scripts/...BEE-L&P=R41257
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  21. #60
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    randy oliver offers this advice with respect to afb, but some of it is applicable here:

    "Another alternative is to perform a "shake and bake" -- shake all the bees
    into a new hive with combs of foundation (no drawn comb), and then burn all
    the combs of the infected hive. Feed the new hive oxytet or tylosin in
    syrup for the first two weeks after transfer. I've done this a number of
    times with great success."

    from: https://community.lsoft.com/scripts/...BEE-L&P=R41257
    This is shook swarming plus medication.

    Last year of 8 hives treated this way, 6 rebloomed with EFB. I suspect some of the EFB strains are becoming oxytet resistant. With the two that went on to be foulbrood free, they are set back so hard by a) the foulbrood and b) the shook swarming onto bare equipment, it is a race to get them robust enough to get through the approaching winter. Also note that the shook swarming often causes the bees to think their queen is defective (suddenly there is no brood in the colony, and until they build comb, nowhere to lay), so they often start queen cells.

    In short, by the time you medicate ($$ especially if you need a vet referral), supply the new equipment for the shook swarm (more $$), disinfect the equipment you do keep (I agree, at least ditch the combs) and then spend time and more resources getting the recovered colony up to speed again, you will likely find a quick euthanasia and buying a replacement colony is a better investment.

    Again, use the test kits to be sure you actually have EFB or AFB. Good link on how to disinfect equipment post infection:
    http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/downl...ent.cfm?id=423

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