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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

A quick question about American Foulbrood. I purchased a couple of hives from a fella last spring, they appear healthy happy, ect and were given a clean bill of health from the local bee inspector. My question is this, he mentioned that he had tested positive for AFB in a hive around 1990 and couldn't remember which yard (he has several) that it affected. He has since always treated with teramyacin to supress any AFB spores and hasn't had any problems since. I would like to wean the hives off of any unnecessry medications, should I even give it a shot or would this be courting problems. I realize spores can survive for up to 70 years. I know now I shouldn't have purchased these hives, however, what's done is done. ( hopefully lesson learned) Any insight would be terrific.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Antibiotics are like drugs to an addict. Get them off cold turkey. If the prior owner has been treating them that long, diseases have developed a resistance to the antibiotic anyway. Antibiotics kill the good stuff all living creatures have and need. Think back to the last time you were on antibiotics. Bet your digestive system remembers! American Foulbrood is a lot like being pregnant. They are or they aren't! If there are no symptoms, you are good. AFB spores are always present they say. Most of the time the bees are healthy enough to resist and the spore count is not high enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the insight. I am relieved to hear your response. Looking forward to even healthier hives in the future.
 

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Rotate out the blackest comb even if no AFB shows up it should help get read of other chemicals and pathogens that are in there. If you have a good flow this summer you might try to super with a full box of foundation and be able to remove the bottom super in the fall when the combs are empty.
 

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At a hobby scale it dosen't matter, you can afford treatments. Fumigillin and Tylan are fed as a preventative/treatment by most beeks, Fumigillin for Nosema, Tylan for AFB. Mites is another matter altogether, avoid miteaway and apistan; however miteaway 2 (formic acid) is safer for them, and has no residue. You can go chemical free, if you're pretty secluded it'll probably be no problem. But you'll need to do alot of reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As a new beek I was wondering about changing out the older comb simply because I didn't like the look of it. Your post was the first I've read about actually doing it ( and believe me I have read lots of stuff over the last two years!) I will give that a try this summer.
Just as a side note when I received the hives last spring there were still apistan strips left on the hive OVER WINTER AHH! I will be installing screened bottom boards as well as trying to incorporate IPM methods this year.

Thanks again everyone for your responses.
 

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Just as a side note when I received the hives last spring there were still apistan strips left on the hive OVER WINTER AHH!

Good reason to change it out!!
 

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Still better off not changing all of it. Shakedowns are costly losses can be had, and with all foundation your honey crop is usually impacted really hard.
 

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Nvm, you're in Canada, Ya'll have enough alfalfa that all the hives in North America couldn't cover all of it. I know I read that if a package was hives by april 15 in Saskatchewan they would produce surplus. Not sure if that's right.
 

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"hopefully lesson learned"
"trying to incorporate IPM "

Aylen,
Sounds like you're on the right track.As a new member,let me warn you to keep your BS filter on.Look for facts not opinions.

A few comments:
If you buy used bees,isolate them.And don't mix equipment with other hives.
The comb in a hive can harbor many pathogens and chemical residues.If chemical treatment has been (mis)used in the past("still apistan strips left on the hive")'it will affect the bees.It is good advice to rotate out the old comb.Get healthy bees,then worry about all that honey.
In the US,Tylan(Tylosin) is registered for the treatment of AFB,not prevention.

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again everyone for all your help and info. Can't wait to get working with the girls this spring! Only 8 below today. April seems so far off!
 

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aylen...

If I read your post right then the frames are over 20 years old. If so then theres are good bet that you indeed have some spores (I would say all hives have some), they've simply haven't been able to grow as they've been surpressed by antibiotics.

Start your packages, treat with antibiotics and rotate ALL the frames out within two years and you should be fine.

Good luck
 
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