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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I retrieved honey and bees from a water meter yesterday and am crushing and straining the honey. I have a moderately weak hive I have been feeding 2:1 syrup. Should I put the leavings from the c & s on top of the inner cover for them to use?

The reason I ask is it seems I have read that you should not feed your bees honey that is not from their own hive. I have wondered why you should not do this, but the leavings are from another hive, though it is from the same general area.
 

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AFB spores can be honey from hives that you aren't certain doesn't have it. This is why it's not recommended to use honey from other hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good point on AFB. The meter hive was probably 3 months old. Is there any way to tell if a hive has AFB without testing? Does it particularly attack young hives (or old ones)? I did not see anything untoward, but I am new, and it was a real mess.

I think I will follow your advice, Michael. My granddaughter wants the beeswax anyway.
 

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>Is there any way to tell if a hive has AFB without testing?

It's easy enough to test. 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 (Holst 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."

(Note: the name of B. larvae has now been changed by the taxonomists to Paenbacillus larvae. You'll find many references under both names.)

Discussion of Holts Milk Test:
http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?194529-Holts-Milk-Test

Beltsville Lab:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7473
 
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