Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks.

I suspect that 2 of my hives have EFB, and I'm looking at a test kit made by Vita to diagnose these colonies. Has anyone used this particular kit, and can you vouch for its effectiveness?

TIA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,646 Posts
EFB is very common, and there is allot of it going around.
If you think you have it I am sure you do. It can be bad but it is fully recoverable. Some bees react different than others there is a genetic tolerance factor, and the size of the hive makes a big difference. A 20 frame hive will very seldom show signs. And 10 frame hive and less are very susceptible.

I don't need a test to tell a hive has EFB. But I would recommend you sent a sample in for testing it's free and priority mail is cheaper than the kit and IMO more accurate. But do not wait on the results to treat if you have many of the symptoms. A fast treatment is important; there is a point of no return for the hive.

I have heard about false negatives with the lab and there might be good reason for it. EFB can be killed by UV light so if frame or sample in sunlight for X amount of time it may serialize the sample just enough that it shows negative for EFB.
EFB larva dies before it is capped after the egg hatches day 3 to day 8. AFB the larva dies after they are capped.

There are several things that only happen with an EFB hives:

Spotty open brood with empty cells mixed with different aged larva all intermixed.

Even if the hive is dead and no bees are there is one way you can tell if EFB was the cause. Find a newly draw frame that has had one brood cycle in it. It will be yellow comb with a brown patch in the center. The brown patch will look like a checker board with brown and yellow cells inter mixed it's EFB.

Sometime one or two dead open larva in all staged can be found per frame, a few of the c shaped will sometimes will be discolored. The older larva can sometimes be stretched dying right before they are capped. Often the bees will clean out the dead leaving no trace (by doing so they recycle the tainted jelly causing the disease spread quickly).

There are also many symptoms could be EFB as well as something else. But if you have any of these I would look at EFB first as a possible cause:
A hive population that dwindles (not from a swarm) especially right before, during or after a flow.
A population that crashes for no reason. (Usually dwindles at first without being noticed then crashes)
A package that starts good then dwindles (I have studies that proves EFB will not show in a packages for 5 weeks and all packages made from EFB bees will get EFB)
A hive with a small patch if brood, and no reason for it.
A hive with very little population and a queen.
A hive that has very little stores especially during or after a flow, which is opposite of what they should have. They use allot of stores trying to raise brood as the disease repeatable kills it.
A hive that absconds for no reason (may have little to no brood often only spotty capped brood left)
Bees that are meaner than normal for no reason, pulling out the dead larva can make the whole hive on edge.
There can be a faint musty smell (only if it's bad)
EFB loves company and there are many vectors for the disease, hive tools, swapping frames, drifters, drones, robbers, beetles… More times than not it’s an outbreak that will infect more than one hive. Usually the 10 frame hives and less are the most susceptible. There will also be hives completely unaffected right next store.
Often once the population dwindles beetles will take over making one think they died from beetles.

Post pictures of the brood open and capped. Also any empty frames that have had one brood cycle in them. This will also help other new Beek.

Do you use HBH or EOs in your feed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
I have the same question as the OP about the effectiveness of the Vita foulbrood test kits. A friend is struggling with deciding whether his hive has AFB or EFB or something else. I was hoping the Vita test kits would provide a reliable and definitive test, and would be fail-safe in the hands of a smart, but inexperienced beek.

Anyone with any experience using either of Vita's AFB or EFB test kits?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,646 Posts
EFB and AFB are so different there should be no reason to do both on the same hive. Unless you think it has both.

Post some pictures of the brood and I will tell if he even needs to get the test.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i decided to not get the vita efb test kit. it's a one-use kit. i thought it was for multiple uses. it seems wasteful to me to have a one-use only kit and then have to toss it into the trash with no chance of repitition. after looking at the brood pattern and a few of the "melted" larvae, i make the hard choice of applying some terramycin to this one hive to give them a chance to build back up before winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
I used the kit once and got a negative result for symptoms that fit EFB really well. I also sent a piece of frame with diseased comb and dead larvae to the bee lab. Both results were negative for EFB and AFB. The bee lab results came back no disease found. This from a piece of frame 6 inches square with lots of dead brood. While waiting for the lab results I started treating with Terra Pro. By the time the results came back the disease was under control. I do not know what the actual disease was but it was bacterial and terramycin cleared it up.
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used the kit once and got a negative result for symptoms that fit EFB really well. I also sent a piece of frame with diseased comb and dead larvae to the bee lab. Both results were negative for EFB and AFB. The bee lab results came back no disease found. This from a piece of frame 6 inches square with lots of dead brood. While waiting for the lab results I started treating with Terra Pro. By the time the results came back the disease was under control. I do not know what the actual disease was but it was bacterial and terramycin cleared it up.
Dave
interesting. i also began treating with terra pro weds night, so i hope i see similar results. it's interesting that when i started keeping bees, i had this grand illusion of never treating, but i just started an antibiotic and am also considering a mite treatment this fall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
You can send a sample of the comb out to the USDA Bee Lab. The testing for brood disease is free. I had the results back within a week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,646 Posts
If it quacks like a duck...

I'm glad you’re not delaying treatment, it could make the difference for winter survival.

Read from several different places that false negatives for EFB are common.

Keep us posted on the progress. It would be good if you could post some picture too.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top