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Discussion Starter #1
Healthy hives 6 days ago.

6 days later obvious EFB.

If I hadn't done frequent hive inspections those hives would be totally screwed.

The good news is that in hives treated with OTC, I see full recovery within the same amount of time. Sets the hive back 1 week or so, but I've never seen any lasting effects from EFB as long as I give them at least 2 treatments.

This is definitely one of those instances where I wish I had my hives spread out around an entire yard, rather than in a cluster behind a bear fence.

Almost always - two or more hives hives situated next to one another in a line all catch EFB.
 

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Glad to hear it cleared up. What can be discouraging is repeat appearances. That can be caused by lingering infected material in your comb or from a neighbor or one in the trees. You had an appearance last season, did you not?

I anguished over whether or not to attempt the clean up work on infected frames and chance still have reoccurence, so I kept it in quarantine for two years then last week burried it! No more anguish; done!

I certainly agree with checking closely and catch it at the start. I even combined some of the weakened hives before diagnosing the problem. I got some bad professional advice; a rather lame excuse but it is all I have.
 

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...easily treatable so long as you don't mind placing a contaminant in your hives during the honey flow.

the three colonies i had from last year that 'recovered' from efb antibiotic treatment rebloomed this year just prior to the honey flow.

they were promptly euthanized and destroyed by fire.

the left over terramycin was thrown in the garbage.

as frank alludes to, the bacteria persists in the honey and beebread until the next year, and the cycle starts all over again.

with regard to bleaching comb free of honey and/or beebread frank, i have 8 splits that i made this year and put on that cleaned up comb and so far no recurrences.

unfortunately the bt aizawai i sprayed on that disinfected comb must not have been good because most of it is now lost to wax moths.
 

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recommendations vary somewhat. here's this one:

"In order to prevent possible contamination of marketable honey, all oxytetracycline treatments in spring or fall must occur outside the honey production season and stop at least 4 WEEKS before the start of honey production. Honey stored in the colony during the antibiotic treatment period should not be used for human consumption!"

from: http://manitobabee.org/hive/wp-cont...oney_Bee_Health_Treatment_Guide_Feb3_2020.pdf
 

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and this is why prophylactic treatments became common...
treat before the flow and move on
a out break costs you that hives honey production and splits for at least a year
not condoning it, but I get it
 

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exactly right msl.

waiting for an outbreak to treat makes no sense at all.

used to be treat before supers went on and then again after they came off,

but prophylactic treatments are now outlawed here in the u.s., (wink, wink).

we should have followed suit with those countries that banned the use of antibiotics altogether.
 

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but prophylactic treatments are now outlawed here in the u.s., (wink, wink)
they banned the use of them for "production purposes" ie growth promotion and feed efficiency
prophylactic use can still be done with a VFD
https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterina...nary-feed-directive-final-rule-and-next-steps
"Implementation of FDA’s Guidance #213External Link Disclaimer significantly changed the way medically important antimicrobials can be used in food-producing animals. When the changes were fully implemented, it became illegal to use these medically important antimicrobials for production purposes, and animal producers now need to obtain authorization from a licensed veterinarian to use them for prevention, control or treatment of a specifically identified disease."
underlining in me

In the beekeeping world all this did is hurt the little guy, the big guys can easly afford the vet bill, for the backyard hobiest the cost of the vet visit costs more then the livestock is worth. and that's not including taking a day off work for the site visit.
 

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msl
In the beekeeping world all this did is hurt the little guy, the big guys can easly afford the vet bill, for the backyard hobiest the cost of the vet visit costs more then the livestock is worth. and that's not including taking a day off work for the site visit.
I agree, x2.
Cheers
gww
 

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Discussion Starter #10
exactly right msl.

waiting for an outbreak to treat makes no sense at all.

used to be treat before supers went on and then again after they came off,

but prophylactic treatments are now outlawed here in the u.s., (wink, wink).

we should have followed suit with those countries that banned the use of antibiotics altogether.
How could commercial beekeepers NOT be doing prophylactic treatments?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Glad to hear it cleared up. What can be discouraging is repeat appearances. That can be caused by lingering infected material in your comb or from a neighbor or one in the trees. You had an appearance last season, did you not?

I anguished over whether or not to attempt the clean up work on infected frames and chance still have reoccurence, so I kept it in quarantine for two years then last week burried it! No more anguish; done!

I certainly agree with checking closely and catch it at the start. I even combined some of the weakened hives before diagnosing the problem. I got some bad professional advice; a rather lame excuse but it is all I have.
With colonies in rows many get EFB, sadly.

I've not seen it negatively affect the colony health for more than a week, when treated appropriately.

I don't apply treatment with honey supers. If honey is on the hive, I remove it before treatment.
 

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27904344/ This link is to one of the broadest experiments measuring the levels and half life degredation times of OTC in honey. Incidentally treatment in sugar syrup rather than powdered sugar is 10 times as contaminating.


Here is a snip from a full article on Oxytet and Honey. Interesting is how it can drift into neighboring untreated hives in detectable amounts. Just from memory of another article, some countries where treatment was common, a period of 7 months storage holdback was mandated for honey from such a yard.

I have no idea what levels would be significant to a human but the phenomenon of resistance development of whole classes of antibiotics is significant looking into the future. It is this concern that is driving the tightening of controls on use of antibiotics.

<showed that seven days after the last treatment of bee colonies with
tetracsycline (TC) or oxytetracycline (OTC) in sucrose (10 mg.g-1), honey contained more than 0.4
mg of TC/kg and 1.5 to 3.5 mg of OTC/kg. Matsuka et al. (1990) showed that only two days after
OTC administration, this antibiotic was already distributed in the whole hive (OTC concentration
ranged between 15 and 91 mg.kg-1 depending on the proximity to the feeder) and was equalized
within one week. Both authors observed that the degradation of OTC in hive was not complete after
6 weeks.
>
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would be curious to know if EFB would spread as easily if colonies are not clustered together.

Any time I see EFB the adjacent colonies catch the bacteria in a short amount of time.
 

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I find it goes away as soon as the honey flow starts. I saw efb In 75 percent of my colonies this spring. Now all have soild patterns or a new queen but most just cleared up on its own. I called our state bee inspector and he said everyone was seeing a little efb in colonies this spring because of all the rain and he recommended requeening or just wait till the honey flow starts. He said he usally never recommends OTC because efb will clear up with the flow. I pinched the queens and added a cell to the ones that didnt clear up as quick as the flow hit and they are fine now. This is the second spring ive saw efb the first time ive actually used a vita test kit to confirm it. Some of my hives looked bad like 50 brood not hatching but with syrup / flow or a new queen is all it takes for it to clear up for me atleast. No antibiotics. Efb seems to always be in my hives but just shows in the ones that are stressed from a lack of nectar, more than anything because syrup early seemed to help alot for me.
 

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The way our state inspector was acting like efb was pretty common here in all of Tennessee. Just said to requeen or wait for flow and if that didnt fix it I could get a vet to prescribe otc if it was really bad but if I thought it would clear up and if I had drones (which I did ) to just requeen. I honestly contacted him thinking for sure I needed otc to fix it but he just seemed like it wasnt a big deal said he only recomended otc if they were crashing and couldnt raise any brood and were going backwards and I just didnt think that I always thought they were growing slowly but just werent raising as big of a nest as some of my hives in an out yard I had at a blackberry farm where i had no hives with efb. idk if there is something forage wise there that isn't at my house or if efb isnt in that area or hives like it is here. But I think its something forage wise because at that BlackBerry farm all the hives have wall to wall sheets of brood like those perfect ones in pictures pretty much all year but here at my house the pattern are fair with the occasional really nice frame when the flow is full swing.
 

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username....
Just because "everyone" has EFB doesn't make it acceptable.
However, if it is wide spread enough, it might change treatment options. So rather then worrying too much about eradication of the disease, managing it might be a more realistic option.
Cheers
gww
 
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