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We are jumping the gun until the Original poster gets confirmation. Kits are available from bee suppliers for testing EFB. Pretty certain it is not AFB. In the latter, the larvae dies after capping. In EFB only a small percentage survive to capping time and die after. Usually day 2 or three day from hatch. EFB killed and uncapped larvae / pupae often look a bit like chalkbrood mummies. Many of the signs we see are the result of a variety of opportunistic secondary bacterial growth so not always the same appearance or smell from one incident to another.

From original photos eggs are being layed on top of uncleaned scale in cells so nurse bees are not keeping up with hauling out the corpses.
 

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I wonder if it makes it "non-viable" or just encapsulates it?
"During the process, spores of American foulbrood are either:
• killed (made non-viable) by exposure to heat
• encapsulated within the wax."

So possibly some of both. Wonder about wax moth larvae releasing them?
 

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That was also my first thought, starving. You can see a couple of hatched eggs that are laying in the bottom of a dry cell, not a drop of royal jelly.
 

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That was also my first thought, starving. You can see a couple of hatched eggs that are laying in the bottom of a dry cell, not a drop of royal jelly.

Looks to me like they are just starving to death.
Just quibbling here; agree with starving but that is a symptom of, not cause of the major visual symptoms. New nurse bees are not coming on line so all house keeping duties are getting neglected; dragging out the dead larvae, polishing and preparing for new eggs, making royal jelly and feeding larvae, cleaning out uncapped pupae etc. Death spiral! After a period of time, no more wax making bees and then fewer foragers and guard bees, robbing and on to other colonies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I notice that there is hardly any honey in the hive. There is a lot of pollen.

I dont even think there are enough bees to do the mite wash.

Do I need about 300 bees to do the test?

I have another hive also. The population seems lower on that hive as well.

Whats my next step?

The mite wash?

What test is recommended.

Im so lost these are my first two hives. :(
 

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Look up test kits for EFB

EFB (European Foulbrood) Test Kit

That colony is on its way out if it indeed is EFB It tends to jump to other colonies so the other one is suspect. Dont do any combining!!! until you confirm. Do a search here on EFB specifying Squarepeg, and Enjambres. Long threads about their experience with EFB.

There may be another beekeeper near that is experienced at ID ing. Be careful of transmitting it to other locations on boots, clothing, hive tools etc. Bee inspector might be available. Here in Ontario, I would not hold my breath. They will get energised much quicker if American Foulbrood is suspected as I believe it is a compulsory notification disease. Here AFB is, but EFB, not.

Quick things to look for is larvae that is not pearly white and discolored feed (yellowish in my case but that could vary).
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
The hives are about 5 feets apart in the same location. What has to happen with the clothing and hive tools? So if its EFB or AFB the colony has to be destroyed?
 

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Not necessary to destroy for EFB but the comb is considered infected. Honey for 7 months. Beebread under honey for near two years. Hive tools I scrape and give a good scorching with my propane torch. Many people have been sorry they took the lesser methods. I can understand if you have hundreds of colonies but with only two (if EFB) all you would need to sacrifice is the frames. Boxes can be scorched. As for the bees if it is EFB and the other colony dwindling as well, the bees are already toast.

Normal clothes washing disinfects for EFB. Just saying that if you go visiting be cautious of spreading anything until you confirm what your problem. If someone comes to give a second pair of eyes make sure they know what the possibilities are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
So what about the bees? Just let them die out? I noticed not a lot of brood in either colony and little honey as well.
I feel like such a failure. And I feel sorry for my bees too.
 

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Not much use saying dont feel bad, but with EFB (or AFB), you cant see it coming. Once you have been bit it is easier to spot the first signs and easier to turn around. I probably could have halted it when it was in one 5 frame nuc but stupidly combine colonies that were faltering. The worst thing I could have done. Eventually lost 6.

I sure hope this is not what you have. Strongly recommend searching those leads I gave you. There is links within those threads to research in Britain on variants and different reactions to treatments.

If in doubt or when confirmed, do everything to keep them from getting robbed out and contaminating other beekeepers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thank you Frank. In order to keep them from contaminating other beekeepers they will have to be destroyed right? I will search out those threads/
 

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Thank you Frank. In order to keep them from contaminating other beekeepers they will have to be destroyed right? I will search out those threads/
If it is confirmed, it will have been the EFB that destroyed them. If the bacteria has been seriously limiting the production of replacement young bees, the average age of existing bees will put them close to the five week normal lifespan. There is a critical mass of bees needed to turn a colony back from the brink. In the spring or early summer the bees can be shaken onto new foundation and they can draw it out and start new population. This time of year and aged bees, it is not possible to do a comb change.
 

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With only 300 bees remaining,, it's a terminal situation...

While they are still alive - Perform a wash of 100 bees - that should at least indicate the extent of the issue.

Do a youtube search on mite washes.

If no mites, then perhaps it is EFB, but first do a mite wash. Then let us know the results.
 

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OP - Do not destroy the equipment. At least not until your local inspector takes a look.

Only AFB requires the equipment to be destroyed. If in doubt, Call your local bee inspector and take his/her advice and official recommendation.
 

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I am not advising the OP to do this, but I believe I read somewhere that they started destroying hives with confirmed EFB in the EU or Uk and it has nearly been eradicated in a couple years. Is this the case?
If I recall correctly, Enjambres had her equipment irradiated to eliminate EFB. It was not cheap or something most of us can do. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I'd err on the side of caution and destroy. I would not want to affect any other bees in the area. Tests are arriving tomorrow.
 

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It may be EFB (test kit will tell).

My money is on a mite situation that @evangeline hasn't told us about yet....
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I foolishly bought the AFB test instead of the EFB test. I used that test and it was negative. I have an EFB test arriving Monday. When I went in I saw barely any larva to test. I saw barely any brood and no eggs. I did see the queen though.
Does it make sense to feed them? There is some honey and nectar in the hive. I feel bad just waiting and doing nothing.
 
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