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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering if there are any look alikes for AFB scale? I was just working through a dead out and my first reaction was a frame covered in scale as many cell bottoms had a dark covering, but upon closer examination I'm not so sure. The reasons I'm not sure are:

- In some cells it only covers smaller portions of the bottom;
- The scale material appears on the area between cells and other portions of the frame where eggs or larvae would not have been;
- It is a dark color, but kind of propolized look to it;
- It is in some new frame where I think only honey or pollen was stored.

I think it may be remains of wet pollen stores which would explain it being kind of all over, but I'm not sure....

I'll try to get pics that do the situation justice.

Thanks for any thoughts!
 

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If you can pop the scales out of the cell or remove them from the wax they are sitting on, then they are not AFB. AFB scales are so stuck down you have to break the cell wall to get them out but most other types of scales separate from the cell wall relatively easy.

The 2 scales that look the most similar to AFB are sack brood scales, and PMS scales when the larvae died right about pupation. Could your hive have had either of those?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They are dead on the bottom of the cells, gravity bottom not foundation bottom. Funny thing is years ago I had lots of experience identifying this, took a break and now am at a loss with what I have. It does come loose without breaking comb even though the comb is very thin as it was new.
 

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Whitebark, I'm reading your thread with interest, but no insight. I don't know if there is anything to help you in this Penn State University field guide to honey bees and their maladies, but it does the best job I've seen in describing brood diseases, and with pictures. HTH :)

I see Mark has responded, there is no substitute for experience. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies and confirming my suspicions. I haven't dealt with AFB for many years (thankfully) so was a little off when I saw this. I always likened AFB scales to little trilobites in the bottom of the cell, but these were much smoother and different than I had encountered in the past, but better to be safe than sorry.
 

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If in doubt, I would do a holts milk test:

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/sick-bees-part-18a-colony-collaspse-revisited/

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 sporulating (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."

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