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Last year, hives had EFB - treated, it was 100% eradicated.

I know there's beekeepers out there who'll quarantine equipment for 2 years as a precaution, but I don't see the point in doing that. Why? My neighbor had EFB deadouts that he literally just left there to get robbed out last year, so I'm confident there's going to be more EFB coming into my apiary from his hives this spring.

Is there a "good time" to pro-actively apply Terra-pro for EFB treatment? Should I do it now, long before the first honey harvest, or wait until later in the season?
 

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proactive treatment before diagnosing the condition is no longer legal -- part of the USA effort to avoid super-resistant bacteria.
Although it seems wise to me that you want to be on top of this.
 

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Unless you are going to an area prone to the ailment, or suspect a neighbor may have i would not prophylacticly treat for EFB. Especially since it's more of a stress induced ailment. If anything i would bolster them with supplemental feed. And only treat if the symptoms arise.

Having a solid source of a balanced diet can help the bees overcome alot of maladies, if not prevent them all together.

Aaron
 

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Not the easiest thing to educate a beekeeper who doesn't want to hear my opinion on the subject.
 

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Does PA have state inspectors? I know if AFB interest would be immediate. I don't know how interested they'd be in EFB.
 

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EFB is not a statutorialy reportable disease on this continent. There is some disagreement about how contagious it is and how difficult it can be to eradicate. It has been confused with some other diseases that share similarities but which are easier to get shed of. This leads to some degree of, meh! whatever.
 

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I don't understand the usda's stand on proactive treatments or even their limiting access to oxy. Their policy guarantees that there will be more of the disease, not less. I have had more experience with efb than I want to but it is an ever present factor in decent size operations. I have found that it rears its head typically around the first of march...too late to treat and save hives for the spring flow. When I treat for six weeks in January to mid feb I rarely see it in march. This year I skipped the proactive treatments on 100 hives in five or six different yards. It showed up in one yard and nearly every hive has active cases now. By the way, the disease is impossible to eradicate in hives where it shows up over and again. In many hives if you can knock back the disease with oxy it will go away and not show up again. I don't know of a vet in my region that will work with me on this.
 

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good post tim.

turns out the u.s. is late to the party compared to most countries with respect to prophylactic use of antibiotics in beehives. in fact for most of europe the use of antibiotics is prohibited altogether under any and all circumstances.

you are correct that stopping the preventative application will result in more outbreaks and not less. that's the mostly likely reason why we are hearing about more and more efb outbreaks since the usda's change in policy.

when i first started keeping bees in 2010 it was common practice by most of the seasoned beekeepers around here to apply antibiotics twice a year. First in the spring prior to honey supers going on, and then later in the season when honey supers were removed.

efb and afb outbreaks were pretty much unheard of back then.

my first hives came into my possession from one of those seasoned beekeepers who passed away the previous winter and orphaned a hand full of hives on my property. i decided to 'adopt' them, (actually purchased them from a fellow who purchased them from the deceased beekeeper's family), and sure enough afb broke out in some of them not long after the application of antibiotics was stopped.

now that the usda has put a stop to preventative antibiotic application, and given the boom in new beekeepers, and given the increased shipment of bees from all over the country to all over the country, it appears that new beekeepers may be ending up with bees coming off antibiotic treatment cold turkey which may be the reason for increased outbreaks.

its a catch 22 situation,

if no one used antibiotics and we practiced a strict destruction by fire approach it would be painful at first, but in the end we would have only rare occurences.

if everyone used antibiotics we would tamp down the outbreaks to a large degree, but be vulnerable to the noncompliant beekeeper as well as have the risk of honey contamination and the development of resistant strains of bacteria.

the compromise that the usda came up with leaves a lot to be desired when compared to either of the two alternatives above. jmho.
 

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if no one used antibiotics and we practiced a strict destruction by fire approach it would be painful at first, but in the end we would have only rare occurences..
problem is most people don't know how to diagnose it. we had a person in our club get "trained" how to diagnose it, when he was explaining to the club, he had them backwards.
 

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problem is most people don't know how to diagnose it. we had a person in our club get "trained" how to diagnose it, when he was explaining to the club, he had them backwards.
In my case, Destruction by fire is 100% useless with EFB. Quarantining used equipment wouldn't even work.

If I did destruction by fire, my neighbor down the road will just re-infect my otherwise healthy hives because he doesn't seem to think EFB is a problem, even though it killed over half his hives last year.

So, in my case I just need to keep careful watch on the hives, and use antibiotics when they eventually rob out his weak hives and infect my bees.
 

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In my case, Destruction by fire is 100% useless with EFB. Quarantining used equipment wouldn't even work.

If I did destruction by fire, my neighbor down the road will just re-infect my otherwise healthy hives because he doesn't seem to think EFB is a problem, even though it killed over half his hives last year.

So, in my case I just need to keep careful watch on the hives, and use antibiotics when they eventually rob out his weak hives and infect my bees.
I'll have to find and read the PA apiary law to see what it says about detriments to the states' useful and/or managed bee population as your neighbor may be a detriment. I know of a nearby state that can legally take action against such a person and mitigate the danger they pose to the useful and/or managed bee populations with uncontrolled EFB. Doesn't have to be AFB.
Someone may need to notify the state agriculturist of the situation if the problem persists. The fact that you have registration gets the ball rolling faster from a regulatory standpoint.

Found it-
attached is the PA bee law from the PA state beekeepers assoc.

http://pastatebeekeepers.org/pdf/paBeeLaw.pdf
 

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that's great news for those states set up that way clyde.

if i recall correctly username brought the state inspector in last year, but nothing was done about the offending neighbor.

i wish alabama would draft similar laws. my state apiarist said legally they couldn't/wouldn't do anything compulsory except for afb.
 

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There would be provisions in Ontario under the control of biohazards. Inspection of premises for cleanliness could be done but it is highly unlikely that any such action would be pursued until corona virus has surrendered. Inspectors from different fields are being trained and redirected and I dont think apiaries has a high priority.

In an area with a chronic reinfection history, you probably could wrangle a Veterinary directive prescription but you would have to comply with clearance times for honey holdback. A lot of hoops to jump thru. I sought some information but, had a recurrence happened, I was prepared to pack it in.
 

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The PA law has plenty of meat in it to mitigate a ongoing EFB problem caused by a rouge beekeeper. Sometimes it takes more than just being nice to get state agencies moving on a issue.
It was said above that PA has inspections and the inspectors do a fine job but that is only part of the job. The other part is awareness of violators, notifications of the violations to the offending party, mitigation directives and finally enforcement of the bee law. One part of the law without the others is ineffective, and has no teeth. Certainly not in the spirit of the law given the detailed penalties section.
I'd think that with continued EFB infections in the same area the Dept. is legally obligated to investigate. Not one off's but continuously documented infections in the same area is key. Easy when the offending party is stationary. No State representitive likes the sound of dereliction of duty.

I also agree with Aaron's comments above that " it's more of a stress induced ailment. If anything i would bolster them with supplemental feed. And only treat if the symptoms arise.
Having a solid source of a balanced diet can help the bees overcome alot of maladies, if not prevent them all together."
and would only add trying a new queen line and clean comb in a bunch of colonies to see how they fair compared to the original stock in the yard.
 

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This was posted on bee-l in a discussion on EFB on 6/19/20.
My opinion is it is a very well worth while read touching on the current EFB mania.
The problem as I see it is that once the panic sets in, few will have the fortitude to put it into action and it's a stark reminder
for those new to the game that there were/are other methods available instead of the antibiotics so commonly reached for.


European Foulbrood- LISTSERV -BEE-L 6/19/20

I was browsing Frank Pellett's 1938 History of American Beekeeping recently and this passage is so relevant I thought it deserved to be posted. It's a bit eerie it was written 70 years long ago about events that transpired 120 years ago. It's an excellent history lesson on EFB but also as relevant to beekeeping today as it was to beekeeping then.

To summarize pages 186-190 in my own words: Pellet is discussing the historic confusion between AFB and EFB and how this confusion has caused beekeepers and "officials" to think the remedies are the same.

Around 1853, Quinby figured out through trial and error that (American) foulbrood was transmitted through honey and wax; when he realized this, he put the bees into brand new hives and succeeded in getting rid of the problem. This was the first time in documented recent history that someone tried a shook swarm.

This became the preferred method of dealing with foulbrood, but several decades later, beekeepers began recognizing there were more brood diseases than simply one generic foulbrood.

Scientists discovered the organism behind AFB in 1903 and behind EFB in 1912. However, Pellett credits the discovery of how to control European foulbrood to an observant and experimental beekeeper named E.W. Alexander, who published his findings in 1905 and whose name is remarkably similar to the person who started this thread. To quote Pellett directly:

<Soon after the turn of the century there were frequent outbreaks of this disease which proved disastrous. It would appear suddenly in early spring and, within a very short time, would be present in nearly every colony of bees in an entire neighbourhood. Entire apiaries were wiped out within a few weeks of time. Colonies which were shaken according to the prescribed methods would be as badly diseased as before by the time the new combs were built.

[Alexander tried everything he had heard of to get rid of EFB but did not manage to rid his apiary of the disease]. After a time it was noticed that the trouble was worse in weak colonies and that strong colonies often removed the dead larvae and freed themselves of the disease. Finding that some bees were better housekeepers than others, he began looking for new blood. In Italian bees he found efficient resistance. Finally, he observed that, where brood rearing was discontinued until all brood had emerged, the strong colonies cleaned house so completely the disease was eradicated. In 1905, he published his method in Gleanings in Bee Culture, with definite instructions for control. He advised that all diseased colonies be strengthened either by giving frames of maturing brood or by uniting two or more colonies. Queens were then removed, and at the end of nine days all queen cells were destroyed, thus leaving the bees hopelessly queenless. The object, of course, was to stop all brood rearing until every undeveloped larva should have come to maturity. On the twentieth day a ripe queen cell was given, so that a period of about 27 days would elapse from the time the old queen was removed and the time when eggs again would be laid. He found that by requeening the common bees with Italian queens, which did not begin to lay for three or four days after the brood had emerged, the disease was cured and the colony remained free from it. >

Pellett then goes on to describe how in 1909, Dr. C.C. Miller tried Alexander's method after the shook swarm method also failed for him because the bees absconded from the new equipment. He discovered a much shorter break in the brood cycle worked just as well. Caging a queen for six days solved his EFB problem in strong colonies.

Pellett writes many beekeepers simply began requeening affected colonies to solve their EFB problems at that point and "within a few years European foulbrood all but disappeared from the commercial apiaries of many states."

Among other things, this passage makes me wonder why we're always assuming EFB is more virulent now. The strain Pellett describes sounds very virulent as well. We humans have a tendency to think if we've never seen it before then it must be new. And I think we may be underestimating the power of a break in the brood cycle in this thread so far.

In reference to the question about when bees started being shipped around the continent in large numbers: Pellett's History of American Beekeeping (1938) has a whole chapter dedicated to the subject of shipping bees. I believe the US large scale migratory pollination industry developed in the 1950s but bees were being shipped around the continent in large numbers long before then.

-Tracey Smith
Alberta, Canada
 

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I wonder if the association with stress could be connected with the nurse bees digging into old abandoned bee bread. The research in Britain seem quite convinced that this source could remain infective for an extended period of time. Sealed and unused cells that normally would not be in circulation but in hard times or when robbing occcurs comb gets torn up indiscriminately.

Oxytet seemed to clear things up quite decisively for me but that went along with burning the worst frames and I did keep an oxytet presence for an extended period of time and eventually destroyed a lot of drawn comb rather that do the work of attempting to rehabilitate it and risk reinfection. That seems a mixed bag.

Some of the experience and research does seem to go in somewhat different directions: I sure would like to know decisively why.
 

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This was posted on bee-l in a discussion on EFB on 6/19/20.
lol I had just sent that to SP

of note the mechanism of "it goes away with the flow", shook swarming, and brood break appear to be similar . a increase in the number of nurse bees in the nurse to larva ratio.
 
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