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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To MSL and all others who've had a major outbreak of EFB, how old were your combs when the EFB started?

I ask because a study at the University of Georgia seems to show that the overall health of a colony goes down as the comb gets past a certain age, and Bob Binnie's big reason to sell nucs instead of packages is to cycle out his gently used combs before they are too old to be of use to anyone.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think the age of the comb has anything to do with serious EFB problems, as in lowering your bees' ability to fight it off?
 

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The last time I had any EFB in the hives, the combs were 2 years and under in age. I think bee genetics is the most important thing to consider in fighting EFB, even if comb age plays a factor. In my experience and opinion, resistance to EFB is a genetic trait and must be chosen for to permanently get rid of EFB in the yard.
 

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in both yards of mine i had it in ... despite all the used langs I bough/scavagened (some with AL foundation from the 60s) it was on 1-2 year old topbar combs.
in one of those yards, a full 6 months from having a live hive or any equipment in one yard I placed hive form a 3rd yard that had never shown EFB and it was stricken in under 2 weeks.
the 3rd yard I dealt with it (club teaching yard) it was a swam placed in donated equipment.. They drug there feet trying the "old" ways ( despite my advice based on runing int to the ne EFB that dosn't read the old books )and in 2 weeks the other 3 hive in the yard were systemic including a new swarn in a new topbarhive (no old comb)

there is old EFB that read the old book and responds to the old ways. and then there is the new stuff that if you don't hop on antibiotics ASAP will take down the yard...
EFB is a landscape thing, a contagious bacteria... you keep what your nehobor keeps... IE if your 1km form a inected yard 40% of your hives will test postive
this s why it gets a rep as a "stress" problem... cause if they are positive and stressed it shows up
there are beekeepers who have met the new strain, and those that will, I sujest you listen to those who have met he new strain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MSL, thanks for the link. What was the stressor in your case? And did the EFB come back the following year? I know you lost a lot of colonies that winter. Did you treat again the following year?

Interesting that that it showed up in the newer combs rather than the older ones.
 

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it often pokes up in spring or with a split, some times the fall dearth A few time its been the biggest hive come spring, the 1st ready to split , pull an nuc form it and wam its showing symptoms.

I had one I wish I had taken pictures of. It was a fly back split with topbar hive
left the queen and 2 combs of open brood and 1 food in a new box at the old stand and moved the rest 5' over
they took off like gangbusters and a few weeks in crashed...
you could see the progression of the dezize as they built combs towards the back .... the old combs had emerged and been back filled more or less 2 combs of nice capped brood, a comb of spotty caped brood a comb of relay spoty open brood and a comb of just wrecked sick larva.

It seems I have one line of italian appearance (yello, gental,eat a ton in the winter.. that has some resistance (also lingustica trait, one of the many reasons for the shift away from AMM to AML ) In many cases I don't "see" any problems, if anything the brood looks a little spoty,or the hive isn't building as expected, it seems they clean out infected larva before its showing symptoms.
one dead give away for me is queen cells fail
I had a queen right cell builder (FRCB) a few years back and the cells kept dying post capping.. all of them... I shook the bees off every comb and went threw them with a fine tooth comb and found 3 cells showing efb systoms, just 3..

IIRR "stress" in this case is all about the nurse bee to larva ratio, upset it with a split, or the bees over reaching thier spring expansion and there are too many larva for the nurse pop and you see symptoms if you have it

if you follow the "old" advice of waiting for the main flow or feeding to simulate the main flow the hive scales back on brood rearing.. less larvae,
same with requeening .. the queen is caged for a few days before release, and afew days before she starts laying...resets the ratio.

Plenty of big name beekeepers and science types still talking about just doing the old ways. But most certainly there is a new strain(s) that doesn't go away on it's own, and can take down healthy hives...fast
 
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