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  1. #141
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post

    EFB sucks, and dealing with it sucks even more!

    Nancy
    Nancy is so right, that quote deserves a repeat and a series of tee shirts!

    What you can do right now, while sourcing OTC:

    1. do what you can to prevent spread by either giving each hive their own hive tool (which never visits other hives), or heating up the hive tool in your pumped up smoker between hives.

    2. beekeep with bare hands and wash in soapy, bleachy water between hives.

    3. do not put frames or stores from one hive into another

    4. arrange the hive entrances so they are as far from each other as possible and point different ways (reduces drift, which is very common within any group of hives) and/or put on robbing screens to discourage drift

    5. disinfect ALL your spare equipment, ditch all extra frames of stores you have on hand to give back to the bees (since you cannot be sure they are not contaminated)

    6. feed syrup and protein patties (feeding helps the sick larvae survive), consider acidfiying with lactic acid as that seems to help as well.

    7. get an experienced beekeeper over to check the hives with you, preferably a member of a local club who has experience with the foulbroods.

    And....if this foulbrood is in one hive only, consider euthanasia to shut down spread. You can kill a hive quickly and humanely with a big bottle of rubbing alcohol poured down the seams AT NIGHT WHEN ALL THE FORAGERS ARE HOME! Close up entrances before application, seal the hive, bag it and take it away next day for cleaning and disinfection.

    Then, once you get the OTC, dose all the hives in the apiary as when one has foulbrood, the counts of the pathogen skyrocket in nearby hives. It is not just one hive that is sick, but the whole apiary.

    One reason to buy local bees (usually nucs in May or later) is that you can inspect the bees before purchase and you are not bringing new/more diseases or pests into your area. In our club we are trying to all keep an extra colony or two in all beeyards to supply local demand for bees.

    Somewhere online one of the bee supply places has a protocol for getting prescribed OTC. Will post it when I find it again.
    Last edited by WesternWilson; 06-08-2019 at 02:15 PM.

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  3. #142
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Update.

    GREAT NEWS: Veterinarian was more than happy to write up a feed directive.

    Good news: I live close enough to Mann lake that I drove there and picked up terra pro.

    Bad news:
    Now for the not so great news:

    1) I did a fairly thorough inspection of all of my hives today. Unfortunately, virtually all of them have some stage of EFB. Half of them looked robust, the other half not so much. So I treated every hive except for 1 that had absolutely no signs of EFB, and very healthy brood.

    2) I found 5 hives without queens. And one swarmed, landed in a tree, flew away with my mated queen in less than 1 hour. So now that's 6 queenless hives. I'm fairly confident 4 of them will be able to re-queen themselves, as they were already robust and did not show any sign of EFB when the queen cells were present. The other 2 are a bit FUBAR, and I might have to just bite the bullet and order 2 queens. The queen cells were actually rotting from EFB.


    3) Any advice on what to do with colonies that are very strong in population, but had queen cells that were probably affected by EFB? Perhaps just order some queens and kill all the capped cells? I think I saw a hatched queen, she was pale and pretty miserable looking. Probably isn't going to survive a mating flight.

    4) Also noticing some paralyzed wing virus. That is the bees that are sort of just unable to fly, so they land on the ground and run around aimlessly. Not a big pile of bees, but I do see them scattered around.

    OVERALL: the majority of the colonies look strong, and were only at very early stages of EFB. The rest were either recently swarmed, no brood, nothing - or 2 of them had some queen cells that appeared to be rotting from EFB and little to no uncapped brood. Those colonies were still high population, but IDK what kind of condition those queens are in.

    Thank you: This is far from over, but at least I administered treatment. I wanted to thank you for helping me take this situation seriously. It's been less than 7 days since I found this bacteria.
    Last edited by username00101; 06-08-2019 at 04:08 PM.

  4. #143
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    Default Re: EFB options

    good job getting the ball rolling so quickly.

    i'm not sure how to advise with respect to your queen situation, hopefully some of the others having more experience with treating will chime in.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #144
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    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.

    Squarepeg - are there any recommendations for applying Terra-Pro?

    I basically just sprinkled 1 tablespoon along both ends of the frames in the brood box with the most bees. Some definitely got down into the frames, but mostly just covered the tops of the combs, don't see how it could directly enter the brood cells.

    I actually did see the bees directly eating the terra-pro in more than one hive, even after just 30 minutes or so after applying it.

    I'm feeding virtually every hive at this point, but I need to be careful not to cause them to swarm. I lost a swarm today with a healthy mated queen. They landed in a tree, and less than an hour later they were gone. That wasn't a good feeling. I have no idea where it went.

  6. #145
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    Default Re: EFB options

    None of the hives I had this year that were in the requeening process while the EFB was untreated raised queens successfully...not sure if that is typical but makes me go hmmmm.

    Your best option is to combine any of the queenless hives with queened hives via the newspaper method ASAP. This preserves your worker bees while making treatment easier (because you will have fewer stacks to treat). You can disinfect the extra equipment after the combine is complete to help build your stockpile of clean equipment to do a shook swarm on.

    Crawlers are not a feature of EFB. Nor is deformed wing virus. These conditions are common when Varroa levels are high, so on your to-do list is effective Varroa control. Given that you will be stressing them with the OTC treatment and probably shook swarms, consider using Amitraz as it is not temperature dependent and is easy on queens...of which you are already in short supply.

    Once you are done remediating the colonies and the EFB is dealt with, you can do some judicious queen rearing and splitting to build your apiary numbers.

    For info on heading off swarming, and making the best new queens possible:
    https://herewebee.wordpress.com/2017...-and-multiply/

    Good info on bee diseases:
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...U8O7tUOSpTJzV7

  7. #146
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    Squarepeg - are there any recommendations for applying Terra-Pro?

    I basically just sprinkled 1 tablespoon along both ends of the frames in the brood box with the most bees.
    same here, just followed the instructions.

    i think you'll find there will be some powder left when you return in 5 days.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #147
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Should I apply OTC to all colonies, even the broodless ones with virgin or recently mated queens?

    3 of them started the queen cell process well before EFB took hold. This outbreak is really just about 1 week old, a week ago I saw virtually no symptoms in any hives.

    I think I saw a mating flight today, which indicates that at least that queen was not affected.

  9. #148
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    Default Re: EFB options

    If you watch that video cited earlier:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0B9o4GHq7U

    If you have EFB (or AFB for that matter) in one colony, let alone several, your counts of the pathogen skyrocket in all nearby colonies. So you should medicate them all.

    One dose is not going to be enough...usually you do the sprinkle dose (aka "flash treatment") to get some meds into the communal stomach as quickly as possible. Then you feed the bees 1:1 syrup with a dose of OTC in it.

    Optimally, once that syrup is consumed, you will do a shook swarm onto bare foundations, starve the bees for a day, then give one or two more feeds of OTC in syrup about 4 days apart.

    That is the usual approach for best results. Changing the protocol will alter your chances of long term success, just do what you can.

  10. #149
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    Default Re: EFB options

    OK, thanks for the input.

    I just applied Terra-pro powder to the other colonies as well.

    It doesn't seem likely that shook swarm will work this year, it's already the middle of June and we have long, long, very cold winters. Most of my brood boxes are already full of drawn comb that has a decent amount of honey, they're going to need that to survive the winter. Truth is I just can't stomach doing shook swarms. This situation is crappy enough, I'd like to at least keep the bacteria low throughout the rest of the year, treat again in the fall proactively, and then again in the early spring.

    My plan, (if this treatment with terra-pro actually works) is to basically just keep applying terra-pro in the spring and fall for the 18 month period until bacterial levels become negligible. Next spring, I can do shook swarm on SOME of the hives, and put them in a new isolated beeyard with new equipment. The used equipment can be quarantined somewhere for the next 9 months. Perhaps I could continue to proactively use terra-pro until I cycle out all old equipment and keep it in quarantine for 18+ months.

    The problem with doing shook swarms here are the LONG extremely cold winters. The only opportunity I have to do shook swarms is basically in the month of May, but irradiation takes place in March. So by the time I have a window to do irradiation, the bacterial level would be negligible again.

    Such a crappy dilemma. I have to wait 48 days to consume any honey. The ONLY GOOD THING about this situation, is that this is a new beeyard.

    Therefore, the bees are spending 99%+ of their time drawing out foundation. So I don't really lose out on much of a honey crop.

    Unfortunately, now I'm understanding that this drawn foundation will be contaminated for 18 months.

    The honey they current have in the comb will all be consumed over the extremely long and cold winter we have here in the northeast.

    Perhaps someone can point out the flaw in my above mentioned plan. I still have battles ahead of me, especially with a couple of these questionably queen-less hives with questionable virgin queens. There's at least 3 hives that I cannot say with confidence will be able to produce a viable queen. My plan is currently to just order mated queens and put them in next Friday. Hopefully the existing virgin queens will not kill these mated queens.
    Last edited by username00101; 06-08-2019 at 07:59 PM.

  11. #150
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    One dose is not going to be enough...usually you do the sprinkle dose (aka "flash treatment") to get some meds into the communal stomach as quickly as possible. Then you feed the bees 1:1 syrup with a dose of OTC in it.

    Optimally, once that syrup is consumed, you will do a shook swarm onto bare foundations, starve the bees for a day, then give one or two more feeds of OTC in syrup about 4 days apart.
    that sounds like a very sensible protocol ww. where does it come from?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #151
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    Sounds like the honey will be contaminated now for at least 1 month after treating with Terra-pro, which is incredibly unfortunate because I was getting close to harvesting.
    from the terra-pro label:

    "Honey stored during medication periods in combs for surplus honey should be removed following final medication of the bee colony and must not be used for human food."

    other sources say you have to wait 45 days after treatment before placing honey supers on to collect honey for human consumption.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #152
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Here is an example of the gaps in knowledge about the whole challenge of EFB.

    In the UK and Europe, any honey that may have been created during the time when OTC is on the hive or OTC stores are in the hive must be stored for 6 months before being offered for human consumption...why? Because OTC slowly degrades over time and essentially vanishes from the honey.

    As for shook swarms and skipping them, of course you can. But the EFB bacterium can survive up to two years in the honey stored in the hive. So unless you get rid of all the stores that could possibly have been created while the EFB was active in the hive, you run a fairly high chance of the EFB recurring.

    As Nancy has so eloquently stated...."EFB sucks". You really, really do not want this condition coming back to haunt you year after year. The single best way to prevent that from happening is shook swarms. Doing a shook swarm on every last colony in your yard gives better....much better...results than simply treating with oxytetracycline.

    It is a lot of work and expense...and that is beekeeping!

    As for the stressful event idea: I am very skeptical that stress is the single precipitating factor for EFB infection. I think it is a butt-covering excuse for tolerating enduring reservoirs of EFB in your equipment and bees. What is stress? Hot weather? Cold weather? Moving? Staying still? Spring? Fall? Jeepers I have heard them all!

    What is important is that EFB seems to be changing, morphing into different and ever more successful and virulent strains....strains that get moved around the country. So don't underestimate the challenge you are facing. This is not likely your grand-daddy's EFB, that "comes from stress" and "goes away in a flow".

  14. #153
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Thankfully, here in the northeast USA, colonies regularly eat through most of their honey stores during a normal winter. If there IS any "pre-OTC" honey left in the spring, I can easily enough remove the few frames that remain, and destroy them. Maybe I should mark the capped honey frames so I can easily identify them after the winter? I'm just brainstorming.

    After treating with OTC, what is the main source of future contamination? Surely there's EFB all over the dang place right now. On the outside of the hives, on the smoker, on the grass in front of the hive.

    Even if I totally decontaminate external equipment, what do I need to be extra extra careful of ? Is it frames that HAD honey/brood in them? What about undrawn foundation that I've removed from some of the colonies?
    Last edited by username00101; 06-08-2019 at 08:46 PM.

  15. #154
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Eating this year's contaminated stores will bring with it the risk that your bees will feed EFB to the early winter/spring brood.

    Scrub your smoker bellows with soapy, bleachy water. Ditto all tools. Ditto any sticky surfaces. But the main preventive is getting rid of old comb, especially if it contains honey, pollen, nectar, bee bread or affected larvae.

  16. #155
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    But the EFB bacterium can survive up to two years in the honey stored in the hive.
    i've been searching for info on that ww but haven't had any luck. source?

    also interested in a source for the protocol you gave in post #148.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #156
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    Default Re: EFB options

    How dangerous Terra-pro to developing brood? In a couple of the hives, I pushed it down along the length of one of the outer frames( i.e., instead of applying along the end of the bars across the entire box, I just applied it along the length of one of one of the frames.

    The Terra-pro seems to mostly just fall down between the frames and coat the wax. I'm not sure how it enter and then land on a developing brood.

  18. #157
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    Default Re: EFB options

    Source is the National Bee Unit in the UK. They invest a lot of time and funding into the foulbroods and are an excellent source of information.

    The M-SS-M protocol (medicate-shook swarm-medicate) is the best way to prevent EFB becoming resident in your apiary. Alas there is still a chance of rebloom in subsequent seasons, and it does not fix a persistent source of infection, but it remains your best bet...and all you can do. That and run with robbing screens on if drift bees are bringing the infection to you.

  19. #158
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    Default Re: EFB options

    I got an email forwarded to me that was written by a "someone" writing a pice for ABJ.

    It seems that treating with an antibiotic will take care of the EFB, but there is about an 80% chance that the antibiotic will mess up their gut bione enough that they will get an opportunistic pathogen and not survive the winter. I've seen this happen more often than not in my own bees. Ive had very good luck with removing the worst brood combs and feeding sugar water pH adjusted to 4,5 with ascorbic acid powder.
    Don't know about the acid, there doesn't seem to be any research published on it
    It did strike me that I took 76% (20 out of 26) winter losses on the hives I treated late summer last year with OTC.
    I think Ilharder had mentioned something to this effect... but I find it odd given the perception that OTC was often used proftlicitaly in the past, seeming with little issues... maby we have a new bug lurking?

  20. #159
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    Default Re: EFB options

    As we have noted throughout this thread, there is a lot we don't know about EFB/AFB, and it seems possible that unintended consequences of medicating may be part of that.

    There are different strains, so there will be variation in beekeeper experience.

    I have medicated for foulbrood in the past with no long term issues. A few of the big pollination outfits in my area talk openly about using OTC to prevent the appearance of symptoms: their bees are on OTC a lot of the time. In the old days you were told to dose your bees spring and fall...no long term unusual mortality.

    I also wonder what is the long term when with active foulbrood the colony dies pretty quickly...and gets the chance to spread the condition.

    As for the acidification, Dr. Gordon Waddell (sp?) did a PhD thesis on the connection between blueberry pollination and EFB. He felt acidifying bee food to make up for the alkalinity of blueberry pollen had a protective effect. I think he went on to help develop Megabee, which is acidified. I think with lactic acid. Don't know if more work has been done on that.

  21. #160
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    Default Re: EFB options

    i euthanized two more colonies today that despite being on otc for over three weeks continued to exhibit very spotty capped brood patterns, sick larvae, and populations dwindled beyond the point of no return.

    these two were shook swarmed and given otc in both powder and syrup form.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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