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Discussion Starter #1
My apiary was almost completely wiped out this winter (5 dead, 1 weak, 0 healthy). The brood comb in the dead outs looks like foul brood did them in. There are sunken cappings on the remaining brood cells, a mild abnormal odor, and brood comb that was only a couple months old is jet black. I am sending some samples to USDA to confirm the diagnosis, but in the mean time...

The question is how much of the equipment should be burned? It is a no-brainer to me that the frames with diseased brood comb goes in the fire. But what about frames that didn't have brood? Does it make sense to cut out the comb and re-use frames that didn't have brood? Is scorching the insides of the boxes sufficient?
 

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All the frames have to be destroyed. The spores spread everywhere. The boxes can be scorched but if it is not complete you will spread the disease to the next hive. In Florida we can irradiate everything with USDA supervision at one of the fruit packing plants. It melts the wax but everything else is as sanitized as new.
 

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I would make sure it comes back foulbrood first. It doesn't string, so it sounds more like chilled brood that died because the bees died. Get a definitive answer from the lab before you start burning. All dead bees stink. They rot like all things when damp and dead.
 

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I would make sure it comes back foulbrood first. It doesn't string, so it sounds more like chilled brood that died because the bees died. Get a definitive answer from the lab before you start burning. All dead bees stink. They rot like all things when damp and dead.
Before you start burning WAIT for the answer fromt the lab. my $.02


BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
 

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Precisely as Michael and Jim said, dead brood is dead brood, brood can die in lots of ways, not all of them are even diseases. I'd have it verified by lab analysis before I'd burn anything, just make sure the hives are closed up tight until you know for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your inputs. I will wait for the lab confirmation. Since all this happened over the winter, I never did the rope test. Now everything is dried hard so I can't...

Any swarms I catch this year are going in anaffected equipment to a different yard. The potentially tainted yard can sit as is indefinitely.
 

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Any AFB my bees have had was a slow decline over months and a year, not multiple deaths in winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE:

The results came back from USDA. Both comb samples I submitted tested positive for American Foulbrood.

After reading posts and talking to other more experienced beekeepers, I began to think that AFB was unlikely. Then this diagnosis comes in. Any advice to my original question are welcome.

Thanks
 

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Seriously.. Is it worth the risk to you to reuse the equipment?

Knowing that foulbrood did them in, "I" would burn all. Not worth the risk when using known contaminated stuff.. Someone else will pop in here shortly and tell me why I'm wrong though. I'm interested in hearing their logic. I love learning through others.
 

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Now you have a fact to base your decision on. You have to take your choice. The least anyone I've heard of does is burn the infested frames. The most is burn the whole thing. The more reasonable approach seems to be to scorch the boxes and burn the frames.
 

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Terramyacin is a lot cheaper than burning frames. A few doses of terramyacin and sugar mixed together and applied during spring buildup is pretty effective at preventing an AFB breakdown.

Terramyacin and sugar is pennies, even if you have to dose the bees on those combs every year.
 

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Burn all frames that have scale present. Send sample to beltsville to see if it is Terramycin restistant. Meanwhile treat with tylan 3 times 7 days apart. That will clean up the foulbrood and then treat spring and fall with terramycin.

Tylan will clean up a hive with scale but it is difficult for the bees to remove the scale.

If I only had a few hives and always kept the supers marked for each of the hives year after year I would burn all frames from the infected hive, scorch the boxes and start over.

With what I got invested in comb and the supers go from hive to hive I use a crutch to keep me on my feet.
 
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