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Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is reporting American Foul Brood in 10 separate townships of Western Mass. They are asking beekeepers within the affected area to check their hives and report any suspect infections to the MDAR.

The infected townships lie along the Connecticut River Valley from Holyoke to Montague. This spans a distance of 40 x 15 miles along the Connecticut River.

The MDAR has sent alerts to registered apiaries within 6 miles of the positive cases detected so far in the towns of Holyoke, Granby, North Hadley, Hadley, Northampton, Westhampton, Easthampton, South Deerfield, Whately and Montague.

Reports should be made to:
Apiary Program Message Line: 508-281-6784
https://www.mass.gov/apiary-program-honey-bees

I have been in communication wtih Dr. Kim Skyrm (Chief Apiary Inspector for MDAR). He is distinctly reticent about providing any greater detail on this outbreak.
""Unfortunately, because these are active investigations we are not able to provide any specific comments about these cases or do any interviews at this time regarding these cases until the investigations are completed.""

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irradiation of afb infected equipment is utilized in that part of the country vs. mandatory burn as is practiced in other locations. one wonders about containment of equipment and infected bees while waiting for irradiation day...
 

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Isn't AFB present everywhere at some levels?
About that. Because it is possible for a hive to have very low levels of AFB spores but not actually develop the symptomatic disease, this has been translated in the minds of some people, that every hive must have some level of AFB spores in it.
Of course this is false logic and there is no evidence that every hive has some level of AFB spores in it. However the story still gets bandied around.
 

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About that. Because it is possible for a hive to have very low levels of AFB spores but not actually develop the symptomatic disease, this has been translated in the minds of some people, that every hive must have some level of AFB spores in it.
Saw this research recently and this might lend some insight to the apparent delay of clinical symptoms in some situations:

Analyses suggest that there is only one species of AFB and only two predominant strains which are now prevalent.

The more virulant strain ironically persists in a colony much longer before obvious visible clues are available because the brood dies quickly enough that the nurse bees remove the dead brood prior to scale formation. By testing honey, colonies have been identified that have been infected with AFB for upwards of 5 years before clinical symptoms are reported.
 

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People get real tight lipped, fast, about AFB and EFB... a bit of an issue here in CO with no state inspectors or apiary resduration

straight line up 91, would hope they are looking at what commercial beeks were dropping hives up their.
placing hives right thew al the population centers?
perhaps a package run or nucs

That said, there is a Bee supplier in Montague that goes to FL to get there numbers up and then brings them north come spring to sell
 

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Saw this research recently and this might lend some insight to the apparent delay of clinical symptoms in some situations:
That research is part of the equation. But the other part is the way AFB works. The spores infect the larva, but have to build enough numbers to line the stomach wall and then rupture it and kill the larva when it stretches out to pupate. IE the AFB only has 5 days to build enough of them to kill the larva.
If they do not kill the larva the bee survives and does not spread the infection by dying and turning into a brown sticky mass which the bees get all over the place if they try to clean.

So to kill the larva it has to be infected with more than one AFB spore. Just one spore cannot build the numbers to kill the larva in the 5 day period.

Just how many spores a larva has to ingest to be able to kill it depends what study you read. But the basic idea is that if a hive has a very low spore level and there are never enough of them in one place to give a larva a fatal dose, the hive will not develop symptoms. And also through constant cleaning etc, will gradually purge itself of the few spores it does have.

This is why a beekeeper can have an infected hive and unwittingly use the same hive tool on the other hive, yet the other one does not always catch the disease.

None of this applies to EFB, which is a different ball game.
 

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People get real tight lipped, fast, about AFB and EFB.

That said, there is a Bee supplier in Montague that goes to FL to get there numbers up and then brings them north come spring to sell
And being right lipped just let's it spread..... Stupid.

On your second part. You know i wonder if I'd they not allow bees from out of state, would it help stop these spreading of disease, mites, hive beetle
 

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People get real tight lipped, fast, about AFB and EFB... a bit of an issue here in CO with no state inspectors or apiary resduration


placing hives right thew al the population centers?
perhaps a package run or nucs

That said, there is a Bee supplier in Montague that goes to FL to get there numbers up and then brings them north come spring to sell
For year I had hives in the Conn. river valley, I could make queens a month earlier than I could at home, no one ever could figure out how I was doing it. I also knew quite a few of the larger beeks but have lost track. The guy running the Mass. bee inspectors seems to know what he is doing, it's a shame they won't share the information they have so that the sources would be a lot clearer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
On your second part. You know i wonder if I'd they not allow bees from out of state, would it help stop these spreading of disease, mites, hive beetle
You are jumping to a conclusion that conforms to your prejudice. There is no evidence that "evil commercials from the south" generated this epidemic.

I have no evidence, but I posit that it is just as likely that the "Treatment Free Death Cult" spread the epidemic through their fringe belief (such as Solomon expressed) that AFB should be spread widely among TF colonies to "challenge" the bees.

I did email all the commercial apiaries in the vicinity of Northampton (such as Google uncovered), and those that responded told me "not in my apiaries, get in touch with MDAR"
It was only after my initial inquires, I got a fuller list of the 10 towns where active cases have been reported.
 

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You are jumping to a conclusion that conforms to your prejudice. There is no evidence that "evil commercials from the south" generated this epidemic.

I have no evidence, but I posit that it is just as likely that the "Treatment Free Death Cult" spread the epidemic through their fringe belief (such as Solomon expressed) that AFB should be spread widely among TF colonies to "challenge" the bees.

I did email all the commercial apiaries in the vicinity of Northampton (such as Google uncovered), and those that responded told me "not in my apiaries, get in touch with MDAR"
It was only after my initial inquires, I got a fuller list of the 10 towns where active cases have been reported.
As you say, you have no evidence.

I know hundreds of TF beeks. About 3, the bee farmers, move hives. Most tend to use hives like Warres which are awkward to move, and tend to be hobbyists with a handful of static hives in their yard.

I have never, ever heard the idea that you should deliberately infect your hives with AFB. Please give your source for this slander. Not a vague "Solomon said" but an actual factual evidence based source.

The fact that this AFB outbreak is along one road imply it is a local commercial beekeeper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Not a vague "Solomon said" but an actual factual evidence based source.
Yes, Solomon Parker said that. Just before he left this forum to run his own playpen.
I had related an incident from my region, where a TF beek with AFB was offering infected comb to others.
Solomon leaped to her defense, citing Dr. Marla Spivak's original research on VSH and AFB (which indicated high VSH could clear AFB infections). I'm not saying the factual counter-advice he was met with precipitated his leaving this forum, but it might have nudged him. In any case, the eventual immolation of his crack-pot theories (even if it took a couple of years) is good for society as a whole.

Not only did Solomon persist in promoting deliberate AFB infection, but he promoted a protocol to do so to his slavish followers.
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