EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?
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  1. #1
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    Default EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    Last year, hives had EFB - treated, it was 100% eradicated.

    I know there's beekeepers out there who'll quarantine equipment for 2 years as a precaution, but I don't see the point in doing that. Why? My neighbor had EFB deadouts that he literally just left there to get robbed out last year, so I'm confident there's going to be more EFB coming into my apiary from his hives this spring.

    Is there a "good time" to pro-actively apply Terra-pro for EFB treatment? Should I do it now, long before the first honey harvest, or wait until later in the season?

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  3. #2
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    Jan 2012
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    Roanoke, VA, USA
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    proactive treatment before diagnosing the condition is no longer legal -- part of the USA effort to avoid super-resistant bacteria.
    Although it seems wise to me that you want to be on top of this.
    8 years, 8 hives

  4. #3
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    Unless you are going to an area prone to the ailment, or suspect a neighbor may have i would not prophylacticly treat for EFB. Especially since it's more of a stress induced ailment. If anything i would bolster them with supplemental feed. And only treat if the symptoms arise.

    Having a solid source of a balanced diet can help the bees overcome alot of maladies, if not prevent them all together.

    Aaron

  5. #4
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    Enfield,Ct.
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    The best pro-active treatment would be to educate your neighbor.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    Not the easiest thing to educate a beekeeper who doesn't want to hear my opinion on the subject.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    Does PA have state inspectors? I know if AFB interest would be immediate. I don't know how interested they'd be in EFB.
    8 years, 8 hives

  8. #7
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    Jan 2015
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    Williamsport, PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RudyT View Post
    Does PA have state inspectors? I know if AFB interest would be immediate. I don't know how interested they'd be in EFB.
    Yes we do and they do a great job with inspections.

  9. #8
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    EFB is not a statutorialy reportable disease on this continent. There is some disagreement about how contagious it is and how difficult it can be to eradicate. It has been confused with some other diseases that share similarities but which are easier to get shed of. This leads to some degree of, meh! whatever.
    Frank

  10. #9
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    I don't understand the usda's stand on proactive treatments or even their limiting access to oxy. Their policy guarantees that there will be more of the disease, not less. I have had more experience with efb than I want to but it is an ever present factor in decent size operations. I have found that it rears its head typically around the first of march...too late to treat and save hives for the spring flow. When I treat for six weeks in January to mid feb I rarely see it in march. This year I skipped the proactive treatments on 100 hives in five or six different yards. It showed up in one yard and nearly every hive has active cases now. By the way, the disease is impossible to eradicate in hives where it shows up over and again. In many hives if you can knock back the disease with oxy it will go away and not show up again. I don't know of a vet in my region that will work with me on this.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    good post tim.

    turns out the u.s. is late to the party compared to most countries with respect to prophylactic use of antibiotics in beehives. in fact for most of europe the use of antibiotics is prohibited altogether under any and all circumstances.

    you are correct that stopping the preventative application will result in more outbreaks and not less. that's the mostly likely reason why we are hearing about more and more efb outbreaks since the usda's change in policy.

    when i first started keeping bees in 2010 it was common practice by most of the seasoned beekeepers around here to apply antibiotics twice a year. First in the spring prior to honey supers going on, and then later in the season when honey supers were removed.

    efb and afb outbreaks were pretty much unheard of back then.

    my first hives came into my possession from one of those seasoned beekeepers who passed away the previous winter and orphaned a hand full of hives on my property. i decided to 'adopt' them, (actually purchased them from a fellow who purchased them from the deceased beekeeper's family), and sure enough afb broke out in some of them not long after the application of antibiotics was stopped.

    now that the usda has put a stop to preventative antibiotic application, and given the boom in new beekeepers, and given the increased shipment of bees from all over the country to all over the country, it appears that new beekeepers may be ending up with bees coming off antibiotic treatment cold turkey which may be the reason for increased outbreaks.

    its a catch 22 situation,

    if no one used antibiotics and we practiced a strict destruction by fire approach it would be painful at first, but in the end we would have only rare occurences.

    if everyone used antibiotics we would tamp down the outbreaks to a large degree, but be vulnerable to the noncompliant beekeeper as well as have the risk of honey contamination and the development of resistant strains of bacteria.

    the compromise that the usda came up with leaves a lot to be desired when compared to either of the two alternatives above. jmho.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    if no one used antibiotics and we practiced a strict destruction by fire approach it would be painful at first, but in the end we would have only rare occurences..
    problem is most people don't know how to diagnose it. we had a person in our club get "trained" how to diagnose it, when he was explaining to the club, he had them backwards.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  13. #12
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    problem is most people don't know how to diagnose it. we had a person in our club get "trained" how to diagnose it, when he was explaining to the club, he had them backwards.
    i get it '07, scary.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    problem is most people don't know how to diagnose it. we had a person in our club get "trained" how to diagnose it, when he was explaining to the club, he had them backwards.
    In my case, Destruction by fire is 100% useless with EFB. Quarantining used equipment wouldn't even work.

    If I did destruction by fire, my neighbor down the road will just re-infect my otherwise healthy hives because he doesn't seem to think EFB is a problem, even though it killed over half his hives last year.

    So, in my case I just need to keep careful watch on the hives, and use antibiotics when they eventually rob out his weak hives and infect my bees.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    In my case, Destruction by fire is 100% useless with EFB. Quarantining used equipment wouldn't even work.

    If I did destruction by fire, my neighbor down the road will just re-infect my otherwise healthy hives because he doesn't seem to think EFB is a problem, even though it killed over half his hives last year.

    So, in my case I just need to keep careful watch on the hives, and use antibiotics when they eventually rob out his weak hives and infect my bees.
    I'll have to find and read the PA apiary law to see what it says about detriments to the states' useful and/or managed bee population as your neighbor may be a detriment. I know of a nearby state that can legally take action against such a person and mitigate the danger they pose to the useful and/or managed bee populations with uncontrolled EFB. Doesn't have to be AFB.
    Someone may need to notify the state agriculturist of the situation if the problem persists. The fact that you have registration gets the ball rolling faster from a regulatory standpoint.

    Found it-
    attached is the PA bee law from the PA state beekeepers assoc.

    http://pastatebeekeepers.org/pdf/paBeeLaw.pdf

  16. #15
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    that's great news for those states set up that way clyde.

    if i recall correctly username brought the state inspector in last year, but nothing was done about the offending neighbor.

    i wish alabama would draft similar laws. my state apiarist said legally they couldn't/wouldn't do anything compulsory except for afb.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    There would be provisions in Ontario under the control of biohazards. Inspection of premises for cleanliness could be done but it is highly unlikely that any such action would be pursued until corona virus has surrendered. Inspectors from different fields are being trained and redirected and I dont think apiaries has a high priority.

    In an area with a chronic reinfection history, you probably could wrangle a Veterinary directive prescription but you would have to comply with clearance times for honey holdback. A lot of hoops to jump thru. I sought some information but, had a recurrence happened, I was prepared to pack it in.
    Frank

  18. #17
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    Default Re: EFB Pro-active treatments - Now or wait until later in the season?

    The PA law has plenty of meat in it to mitigate a ongoing EFB problem caused by a rouge beekeeper. Sometimes it takes more than just being nice to get state agencies moving on a issue.
    It was said above that PA has inspections and the inspectors do a fine job but that is only part of the job. The other part is awareness of violators, notifications of the violations to the offending party, mitigation directives and finally enforcement of the bee law. One part of the law without the others is ineffective, and has no teeth. Certainly not in the spirit of the law given the detailed penalties section.
    I'd think that with continued EFB infections in the same area the Dept. is legally obligated to investigate. Not one off's but continuously documented infections in the same area is key. Easy when the offending party is stationary. No State representitive likes the sound of dereliction of duty.

    I also agree with Aaron's comments above that " it's more of a stress induced ailment. If anything i would bolster them with supplemental feed. And only treat if the symptoms arise.
    Having a solid source of a balanced diet can help the bees overcome alot of maladies, if not prevent them all together."
    and would only add trying a new queen line and clean comb in a bunch of colonies to see how they fair compared to the original stock in the yard.

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