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I started a bunch of new colonies at the start of June with a frame of brood and a new queen. All of these hives were started out in a 10 frame deep with 2-3 frames of pollen, 4-5 frames of honey, and then a frame of brood and an empty frame. Out of all the colonies I started the majority of them have moved into a second and even a third deep with brood and nectar storage, however I have one colony that is lagging behind. I haven't had any training in disease identification and I honestly haven't had to deal with it up until this year. The hive that is lagging behind has a pepper box brood pattern, the cells cappings on the brood are all sunken in, the queen has either absconded or been killed as there are 4 emergency cells started. I stuck a little branch in a couple of the cells and stirred it around and tried to draw out the brood, of the 3-4 cells I tried only one really drew out with a snot like consistency but it didn't really come out of the cell all that far if at all. The other cells I tried this in it was almost as though they were hollow and dried out. I will try and have some pictures up by this coming weekend but any ideas would be helpful.


Quick edit, there's no sour or distinct smell coming from the brood that I could detect either.
Moon
 

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I started a bunch of new colonies at the start of June with a frame of brood and a new queen. All of these hives were started out in a 10 frame deep with 2-3 frames of pollen, 4-5 frames of honey, and then a frame of brood and an empty frame. Out of all the colonies I started the majority of them have moved into a second and even a third deep with brood and nectar storage, however I have one colony that is lagging behind. I haven't had any training in disease identification and I honestly haven't had to deal with it up until this year. The hive that is lagging behind has a pepper box brood pattern, the cells cappings on the brood are all sunken in, the queen has either absconded or been killed as there are 4 emergency cells started. I stuck a little branch in a couple of the cells and stirred it around and tried to draw out the brood, of the 3-4 cells I tried only one really drew out with a snot like consistency but it didn't really come out of the cell all that far if at all. The other cells I tried this in it was almost as though they were hollow and dried out. I will try and have some pictures up by this coming weekend but any ideas would be helpful.


Quick edit, there's no sour or distinct smell coming from the brood that I could detect either.
Moon
Your description is consistent w/ the characteristics of AFB. Sometimes I have to put my nose right down on the comb to smell what AFB smells like. I'd close down the entrance so robbing is less likely and then get a sample to the Beltsville Bee Lab, Beltsville, MD. If you have a State Apiculturalist you might have the Apiculturalist confirm or deny your suspicions.
 

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Contact your state apiarist. If he is around your area, he can swing by and swab the cells for a test at your state bee lab. The distinction between AFB and EFB is very important. EFB means your have to destroy the comb and can save the bees through a shook swarm onto new equipment. The woodenware can be saved if you disinfect it through a propane torch or good sooaking in strong Clorox solution. AFB means you need to kill the bees and burn the entire hive, no questions asked.
 

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Not roping is pretty definitive. Roping is fairly definitive, but a holst milk test is definitive. "Snot brood" and parafoulbrood will rope and neither are spore forming that we know of and neither are AFB.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#afb

Holts milk test:
The Hive and The Honey Bee. "Extensively Revised in 1975" edition. Page 623.

"The Holst milk test: The Holst milk test was designed to identify enzymes produced by B. larvae when speculating (Host 1946). A scale or toothpick smear is swirled gently into a tube containing 3-4 milliliters of 1 per cent powdered skim milk and incubated at body temperature. If the spores of B. larvae are present, the cloudy suspension will clear in 10-20 minutes. Scales from EFB or sacbrood are negative in this test."

I will translate some... if you mix up some nonfat dry milk and warm it to 98.6 F (body temperature) and put some scale or goo from a suspected cell in, if it is AFB the white will settle out in 10-20 minutes and it will be clear instead of white. This eliminates all confusion with parafoulbrood or snot brood. You can, of course buy a test kit and you can also send it to Beltsville (link to Beltsville is on the page in the above link.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Michael,

Thanks for this reply, I just read that the other day in TH&THB. I tried getting a hold of the state inspector through the county extension office and she has had this whole week off and won't be back until next Monday, sounds like tonight when I'm off work I'm going to be picking up some powdered milk. Any ideas on what to use as an incubator?
 

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Use a 5 ml red top test tube and hold it firmly under your arm pit...will likely be close enough if the milk solution is made up the correct temperature.
 

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>Any ideas on what to use as an incubator?

WBVC beat me to it, but a baby food jar will do if you don't have a test tube... under the arm is a simple incubator. Make the water as close as you can get to 100 F by running hot or cold water and then add the milk powder and then take it to the beeyard while it's under your arm...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Follow up on this thread for anyone who is interested. I had the state bee inspector for my area come out this evening and look at my colonies. He inspected probably half of them including some of the ones I thought were suspect and said none of them had AFB or EFB. He said if anything the hives looked like they were a little behind where they should be but mite levels were low and no disease was apparent. The ones I were concerned with may have had issues with chalkbrood but the bees looked as though they were cleaning everything up nicely. He also commented that the colonies I were concerned with was due to either coming out of winter weak or queens that weren't laying up to snuff.
 
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