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  1. #101
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    Default Re: EFB options

    that's good info nancy. many thanks.

    a lot of meat and potatoes in this thread, and not much garnish. to be honest i could use a little garnish right about now.

    an excerpt from an email i wrote to a collaborating scientist:

    'It’s early, but after a couple of weeks or so with oxytet I’m seeing healthier larvae and a higher percentage of brood getting capped.

    The outbreak occurred at the peak of the population curve and short worker longevity. In just a few weeks time the colonies dwindled from 2 - 3 ten frame Langs worth of bees to barely a few deep frames of bees becaue the brood disease stopped the next generation of workers from coming on line. They are even smaller now, almost not worth saving, but it’s a learning process for me.

    I figure I’ve lost about 1500 lbs. of potential honey crop, 20 nucs promised for sale this year, and now have a dozen deeps and a couple of dozen supers of drawn comb I’m trying to salvage.

    I’m cherry picking the boxes/frames I am washing and bleaching to the ones that I can get the honey and beebread out of.

    I can imagine how the anaerobes just might survive for a very long time at the bottom of a cell containing wet beebread, or at the bottom of a honey cell.

    I’ll send samples to Beltsville with that in mind and let them see how many months the bacteria survives there."
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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  3. #102
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Okey-doke, SP, here's some tasty garnish for ya: your mite numbers will crash and stay down (lower than usual, even for you.) Nearly no maturing brood for an extended period really hammers the mites' summer reproduction curve. You know I am relentless about monitoring mites, using both boards and sugar rolls. My sugar rolls were so low, for so long, I started to doubt my technique, so I alcohol washed the samples to see if I was missing them. Nope, as usual my sugar rolls were doing as well as alcohol washes. There just weren't mites to get found. Reprieve last surprisingly long, well into the second spring. A small, but definitely appreciated, blessing. SHB and wax moths weren't so kind, so keep an eye on them. If they get too small, put 'em in nuc boxes. Then you can clean up all you regular-sized gear in one big effort.

    Also, the whole experience taught me a lot about bees, beekeeping and myself, as a beekeeper. I was sort of going along with The Received Wisdom of Beekeeping, but the crisis taught me to be less-afraid of what other people might think about my beekeeping style/goals. And the bees and I weathered a terrible period together. My beekeeping skills and inventiveness were pushed to the max, but in a sort of good way.

    Though I have to admit when I lost the last one of one of my queenlines, I was in a terrible funk for quite awhile. Still, I caught a swarm this spring and have named it for the lost line, so I feel a bit better now.

    EFB sucks! (But it, too, shall pass. I promise you.)

    Nancy

  4. #103
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    Default Re: EFB options

    SP's example shows that bees with some level of mite resistance are susceptible to EFB. Rothenbuhler's AFB resistant bees in the 1930's and 1940's showed similar susceptibility to EFB. I wonder if SP's bees would show high levels of AFB resistance? This seems like a reasonable logic step since hygienic behavior has been linked to both AFB resistance and varroa resistance. It gets down to needing a selection program to see if we could combine AFB resistance with varroa resistance and then add EFB resistance.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  5. #104
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    Default Re: EFB options

    dar, i'm thinking our bees are generally resistant across the board but not bullet proof.

    all the breeding in the world wouldn't get as much done as having some degree of oversight in place at the local level with respect to new beekeepers.

    that 1.25 miles from my bees a well meaning person imported 12 colonies over a three year period only to not pay due diligence to prevent their collaspe and subsequent rob out by other colonies in the neighborhood ought to be against the law. in fact i think it is.

    shame on me i guess for not being proactive in this regard. i may try to contribute to the discussion with the locals about it but i'm not very optimistic what i have to say would be well received.

    bottom line: if you are going to husband bees at a very minimum you have to know how to tell if your colony is doing alright or in a death spiral, and at the very least close your entrances if you have robbing going on and take whatever action is indicated to prevent the spread of diseases and pests.

    after the first year of 4 out of 4 dead outs it was irresponsible of whoever is making a profit on those packages to sell another 4 without suggesting the importance of understanding why all 4 died. three years in a row, no good.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #105
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    Default Re: EFB options

    nancy, many thanks for the garnish. it was just what the doctor ordered.

    losing queenlines is what i'm sick about.

    100% loss of those would more than i can stomach.

    i'd rather go back to hangliding.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #106
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Nancy, have you considered the sugar shake jar/sugar as a posable vector for EFB?

  8. #107
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    Default Re: EFB options

    I have, and each colony has their own marked jar, not used for any other colony. I also wash each of the jars in between tests, not as a an anti-EFB precaution, just because I like to start each test with a dry, clean jar. I keep them stored in the correct order of rotation, so i know which colony needs to rolled each week.

    The spring I discovered EFB, it appeared before I had started my monthly rounds of sugar rolling. After it appeared, I became obsessive about cross-contamination, even wearing a stockinette tubes over my lower sleeves, and a disposable plastic food service apron on top of my hive jacket when working on a sick colony. (Hot as hell, but good for my peace of mind. Gave me a taste of what it must be like to nurse in Ebola wards in Africa!)

    It's a very good thought to think about sugar roll jars as potential vectors - after all we deliberately choose nurse bees as the test subjects for both rolls and alcohol washes. The main difference is that sugar rolled bees are exposed to the jar and then returned to the colony, where as washed bees don't go back.

    Nancy

  9. #108
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    dar, i'm thinking our bees are generally resistant across the board but not bullet proof.

    all the breeding in the world wouldn't get as much done as having some degree of oversight in place at the local level with respect to new beekeepers.

    that 1.25 miles from my bees a well meaning person imported 12 colonies over a three year period only to not pay due diligence to prevent their collaspe and subsequent rob out by other colonies in the neighborhood ought to be against the law. in fact i think it is.

    shame on me i guess for not being proactive in this regard. i may try to contribute to the discussion with the locals about it but i'm not very optimistic what i have to say would be well received.

    bottom line: if you are going to husband bees at a very minimum you have to know how to tell if your colony is doing alright or in a death spiral, and at the very least close your entrances if you have robbing going on and take whatever action is indicated to prevent the spread of diseases and pests.

    after the first year of 4 out of 4 dead outs it was irresponsible of whoever is making a profit on those packages to sell another 4 without suggesting the importance of understanding why all 4 died. three years in a row, no good.

    Well said. You have suffered a financial loss due to another's carelessness. This has me very concerned due to the density of beeks here and my growing understanding of how many are bee "havers" as some of the locals call them.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  10. #109
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    I have, and each colony has their own marked jar, not used for any other colony. I also wash each of the jars in between tests, not as a an anti-EFB precaution, just because I like to start each test with a dry, clean jar. I keep them stored in the correct order of rotation, so i know which colony needs to rolled each week.

    The spring I discovered EFB, it appeared before I had started my monthly rounds of sugar rolling. After it appeared, I became obsessive about cross-contamination, even wearing a stockinette tubes over my lower sleeves, and a disposable plastic food service apron on top of my hive jacket when working on a sick colony. (Hot as hell, but good for my peace of mind. Gave me a taste of what it must be like to nurse in Ebola wards in Africa!)

    It's a very good thought to think about sugar roll jars as potential vectors - after all we deliberately choose nurse bees as the test subjects for both rolls and alcohol washes. The main difference is that sugar rolled bees are exposed to the jar and then returned to the colony, where as washed bees don't go back.

    Nancy
    Nancy, is it possible that EFB was spread on the rag when washing the jars?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  11. #110
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    You have suffered a financial loss due to another's carelessness.
    i am trying to be careful about what i say here. the truth is that i don't know and have no way of finding out for sure just where the source of the efb was.

    i've owned up to my shortcomings in terms of not recognizing the malady right away and the precious time i lost figuring it out.

    i've also owned up to the management risks i accepted by lining up my hives close together and doing a lot of resource swapping between hives.

    that said, we haven't heard of efb outbreaks around here for decades. the beginner having 12 deadouts of imported bees over 3 years time 1.25 miles from my bees is high on the list of suspects, but i can't know for sure that's where it came from.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #111
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i am trying to be careful about what i say here. the truth is that i don't know and have no way of finding out for sure just where the source of the efb was.

    i've owned up to my shortcomings in terms of not recognizing the malady right away and the precious time i lost figuring it out.

    i've also owned up to the management risks i accepted by lining up my hives close together and doing a lot of resource swapping between hives.

    that said, we haven't heard of efb outbreaks around here for decades. the beginner having 12 deadouts of imported bees over 3 years time 1.25 miles from my bees is high on the list of suspects, but i can't know for sure that's where it came from.
    Your experience sends chills down my spine. I haven't heard stories of EFB locally, but I-10 is a major route for commercial hives and that concerns me that something may get introduced into the county. Next month's meeting we have the inspector coming and I'm looking forward to getting to question him. I need to start a list of questions.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  13. #112
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    Default Re: EFB options

    I was at an information meeting not long ago to find out about procedures for beekeepers to get prescriptions and antibiotic products. I was amazed at the large percentage of beekeepers who have presently been doing routine prophylactic antibiotic applications spring and fall. That could well be camouflaging a reservoir of both AFB and EFB.

    I expect quite a number will be unwilling to either register or pay vet fees to continue. In fact the very thrust of the vet prescribed only antibiotics is to eliminate such ritual treatments.

    I hope we are not just starting to see the tip of the EFB iceberg.
    Frank

  14. #113
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    Default Re: EFB options

    not trying to be alarmist, but i have been told by officials at both the state and the national levels that reports of efb are on the increase.

    the bacteria has morphed and is continuing to morph into dozens of strains (genotypes) some of which are many orders of magnitude better at bring a colony to complete collapse. fortunately the test kit is sensitive to any of the strains, unfortunately the test kit can not determine the strain.

    since the bacteria affects young larvae the collapse in population happens most quickly during times of population build up. when brooding and foraging to support that brooding are in very high gear the workers don't live much more than a month.

    when the adult population starts decreasing by attrition of those hard working short-lived workers there is no next round of workers to replace them. the more virulent the bacteria is as measured perhaps by the % of brood not dying as a small larvae (and making it to capping and ermergence), the faster population decreases to a ghost of what it was.

    i've witnessed colonies getting down to a handful or two of bees with the queen still laying up a storm. obviously this colony is not going to be able to defend against robbers when the flow trickles to a drip and the dearth causes unemployed foragers to go looking....

    i got caught with my pants down. don't let it happen to you.

    1. add funny looking larvae to you mental list of things you pay attention to when you are examining brood frames. if your capped brood pattern is spotty you have to look very carefully at each and every cell containing young larvae. if you have hygienic bees like i do you will be lucky to find one or two on a whole frame because they fly them out of the hive not long after the larvae die.

    2. in my opinion and based on anecdotal reporting those colonies at highest risk are nucs and packages that are made up in the far south in very early spring, basically shaking the bees that are coming off pollination in california into splits with new queens.

    3. if you have contingent of new beekeepers in your area and they are relying on nucs or packages commercially produced in this way for their first bees, double up on your follow up with those beginners. make sure a 'sponsor' or 'mentor' sees to it that the colonies don't become a hazard to other nearby colonies.

    4. go ahead and order a test kit or three. time is of the essence with this and if you want confirmation to help form your decision making you can't afford to wait for the kit to arrive in the mail.

    5. be thinking ahead of time on what you would do should you find active efb in your bees.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #114
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    Default Re: EFB options

    It would be good to source where the efb came from. Just another reason to promote local stock. Again, the biggest risk to bees is commercial beekeeping, the masking of problems, and the movement of bees.

    I am watching like a hawk every time I go into the hive. I will euthanize a colony with obvious symptoms, wrap the equipment up, and burn in winter. With my homemade equipment, it is not so expensive. I am getting reports of Nosema in this area, probably from a magnitude point of view a bigger problem. The use of antibiotics will make bees more susceptible to Nosema as the gut bacteria aid in resistance. So when dealing with two things at once...

  16. #115
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    Default

    In my case, this hive had been established in the attic of a house for several years, judging by the black comb. They were thriving in the fall when I first looked at it. I did the removal just as the maples were blooming. I didn't keep any of the original comb, basically made a package with them and shook them into a medium with drawn frames. I did crush and feed their own honey back to them. They built up ok, and I added a second medium, but then they started to go down hill. I ordered the test kit, and of course they are back ordered with no expected ship date. In the mean time, I still have the hive isolated and a robbing screen in place. I'm leaning towards it just being sacbrood at this point. Hopefully the kits will get here soon. I'll have some fresh queens soon and will re-queen as soon as I can.
    All my bees are 'local', only from swarms, cutouts and splits. Where those swarms came from, I can't always say. I have had a few with marked queens. There aren't really any commercial keepers around here, a couple of serious sideliners. But there is a thriving hobby scene with plenty of nucs and packages coming in.
    I had a moment of weakness in late winter where I almost bought some commercial queens to see how they compare to my own. I didn't end up buying any and decided to stick with mine. My hives were looking weak coming out of winter. I shouldn't have doubted the local stock or my husbandry efforts: they built up great and I'm looking at one of my best crops.
    Mistakes are the best taechers

  17. #116
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    Default Re: EFB options

    @JadeGuppy,

    Anything is possible, but I don't use a dishcloth when washing the jars. Just very hot water, detergent, and my bare hands, with copious rinsing afterward (to remove any detergent residue, because I have naturally very soft water.) I let them air dry on my kitchen drying rack. I am basically just getting rid of the sugar residues, more than anything. The lids are just rinsed out in the yard and stored with each colony's own bucket of tools and miscellaneous small equipment.

    Nancy

  18. #117
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    Default Re: EFB options

    an excerpt from an email i sent today to collaborating scientists:

    "Update:

    It appears that most of the EFB infected colonies are showing a positive response to Terramycin gauging by the decrease in number of larvae affected and improvement in the percentage of brood making it to capping stage.

    At least one colony is exhibiting what appears to be EFB that is resistant to Terramycin. This colony is continuing to dwindle as not enough brood is surviving to make up for the attrition of the adult population. After 2 weeks of Terramycin being available powder form (Mann Lake’s Terra-Pro) and syrup form (HCA-280 mixed 1/8 teaspoon per quart), the population has decreased from about 2 Langstroth deep frames of bees to about a half frame of bees, with infected larvae still plainly visible.

    My plan is to euthanize this colony next weekend, and I would like to send the frames in for analysis. Ideally it would be nice to identify the DNA sequence type of this m. plutonius, as well as to look at sensitivity and resistance to Terramycin in the lab.

    My questions are should I send these frames up to Beltsville or over to Tucson, and what would be the best way to package and ship these frames?"
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #118
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    Default Re: EFB options

    One of my honey customers gave me a call a couple of weeks ago, had a swarm in his tree, located about 1 mile from my yard. went and caught it and gave it to a friend that lost most of his bees over the winter. middle of last week he gives me a call, says the nucs and hives we requeened are looking good, but that swarm, the brood doesn't look right. Yup EFB, so now I have a hive a mile from my biggest yard that will eventually die and my bees will rob it out. bummer, that's the 3rd efb case this year that I have seen. only ever saw one in the last 40+ years, sure hope the trend goes away.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  20. #119
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    Default Re: EFB options

    @SP:

    It seems odd that one colony out of the same yards would have a different genetic strain of EFB. More likely, at least to me, is that that colony has an additional stressor. It would be interesting to type both the ones with the common response and the outlier.

    I, too, had hat looked like a very brisk and positive response to Oxytet. (Clearly noticeable difference in expressed signs between the first and second dose, which was only four days apart.) But in the long term (through the succeeding 12-15 months), some essential vitality had been taken out of some of the recovered colonies. That produced some losses. This is the first season since the outbreak in 2017, that my bees have all seemed vigorous again.

    I am very glad to hear yours seem to be improving with treatment.

    EFB sucks (but it - still - responds to Oxytet treatment)

    Nancy

  21. #120
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    More likely, at least to me, is that that colony has an additional stressor. It would be interesting to type both the ones with the common response and the outlier.
    it's very possible nancy that this colony like some of the others that have already been euthanized has gotten below critical mass and isn't able to function with the combination of stressors.

    to compensate for the lack of a viable field force i made up some 'wet' protein sub/sugar/water feed to the consistency of thin peanut butter and gave that to them yesterday.

    my caught swarm is approaching 2 weeks since moving in to the swarm trap with no signs of efb. the swarm ended up covering the better part of 10 deep frames and in less than two weeks has them almost completely full of brood and stores. the capped brood is completely solid and the open brood is 100% pearly white.

    i added a second deep yesterday with 10 frames of empty comb. 15 of the 20 frames in that hive are frames from efb deadouts that i have sanitized to the best of my ability. some goes for the hive bodies, inner cover, telescoping cover, and entrance reducer.

    if i see no efb once this colony fills the second deep with bees, my plan is to make as many nucs from it as i can. i'll do this by introducing a foundationless frame to the middle of the broodnest and then split the queen out a week later. a week after that i'll make as many nucs as i can with the emergency cells.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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