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Discussion Starter #1
I have evidence of EFB, in some of my hives as confirmed by an EFB test kit and by a state inspector. I have started feeding sugar water and pollen substitute to reduce stress in the hives. Terramycin is not really an option due to the VFD.. So that's the back story but my question has to do with how to pull the old dark comb out of my hives. I have never figured out a system to cull frames. So I was advised to start pulling some of my old dark comb due to this brood disease. Do I want to do this regardless of the resources that are in the frames? Or do I just want to pull empty frames when I come across them? Do I move old dark frames with brood to the outside and will that cause the queen not to use these frames and when they are empty of brood remove them?

So if you regularly cull frames when do you do this? Do you pull a certain number of frames? Do you pull the frames regardless of resources on them. Do you checkerboard with foundation or place the foundation against the outside end walls. If you remove frames regardless of the resources on them then what do you end up doing with the honey?

So things get complicated in my situation because of the brood disease. I have read that EFB persists in the honey, bee bread and wax for 2 years. But I have also read that it does not persist in the wax, bee bread, and honey. So, can I feed other bees this honey? Can I use some of these frames in swarm traps? Can I "sterilize" the frames by setting in the sunlight? Can I sterilize my gloves, bee brushes, or hive tools by setting in the sunlight. Alternately does freezing "sterilize" frames of honey. or do I have to throw these frames away? So what are the parameters of heat, cold, or UV light that will inactivate the EFB bacteria?

Some tell me that breaking the brood cycle will fix this, but how does this help if it is in their hive resources?
 

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Bee Wrangler
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If you have European Foul Brood, the best is to burn all wood equipment and bees.

What will happen is that hive will get too weak to defend themselves and other hives will rob them out, spreading the spores to them. It is a huge domino effect that will spread to your neighbors hives also.

You can contact

https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/businesses/bees/state-apiarist.html

EFB is nothing to play around with. You will not cure it with any type of drug, it will only mask the symptoms and it will come back when the bees are stressed again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
You have misread. I have EFB not AFB and I have been visited by a state inspector to confirm this. EFB does not produce spores.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Ok so if it persists for 2 years then you would need to take the comb out for more that 2 years to be able to re use it.

1 at a time would allow the new to be infected from the old, so I would think you do a shook swarm, into new Wooden ware, and frames.
scorch and store the WW for + 2 years, place the combs in the freezer for + 2 years and the 2 year time would offer some ability to reuse the stuff. Else, get a bonfire going.

depends on how much time you have to futz around with it and how many hives. For 1 a fire is easier, for 10 some sort of plan to re use some of the stuff may be better.

research the EFB and do a good shot at it the first time or you may see it crop up several times.

GG
 

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I can't give you any help with the EFB problem but I wanted to let you know about comb rotation. First inspection in the spring is a good time to rotate out old frames. Two to three years is the extent of time for your combs before removal. I started in 2012 and didn't rotate them out at all. In 2018 I lost 60% of my colonies. I got to rotate out lots of comb then. Now I only give them 2 years at most.
 

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Yes but does it persist for 2 years?
It the EFB?

with the 2 years you provided, the spore is likely "viable" for the 2 years in the wax/pollen/ comb, meaning any time in the 2 years the comb is used the spore can re activate.
 

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I can't give you any help with the EFB problem but I wanted to let you know about comb rotation. First inspection in the spring is a good time to rotate out old frames. Two to three years is the extent of time for your combs before removal. I started in 2012 and didn't rotate them out at all. In 2018 I lost 60% of my colonies. I got to rotate out lots of comb then. Now I only give them 2 years at most.
Hi Jim,
How did you prove to your self in 2018 that the 6 yr old comb was the issue?
I would think you must be in a fairly polluted locale, 2 yr max on comb life is not something I have seen in practice.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks you your help.

When do you do your first spring inspection? Approximately as weather would play a big part. So you pull 1/3 of your frames at that time? Do you pull regardless as to whether they have resources on them or not ie honey, pollen, or even brood? How do you reinstall your new frames? Checkerboard? Or place at the ends of the hive? Do you install new frames with foundation or do you cut out the old comb and install foundation less frames?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I can't give you any help with the EFB problem but I wanted to let you know about comb rotation. First inspection in the spring is a good time to rotate out old frames. Two to three years is the extent of time for your combs before removal. I started in 2012 and didn't rotate them out at all. In 2018 I lost 60% of my colonies. I got to rotate out lots of comb then. Now I only give them 2 years at most.
Thanks for your help.

When do you do your first spring inspection? Approximately as I know it is weather dependent. So you are pulling 1/3rd of your frames. Do you pull the frames regardless as to what resources are on them ie honey, pollen or even brood? Or do you only pull empty frames? Do you checkerboard your new frames or do you place your new frames at the ends of the boxes? Also do you put in new frames with foundation or do you cut the old comb out and replace the frames and let the bees pull out the comb?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It the EFB?

with the 2 years you provided, the spore is likely "viable" for the 2 years in the wax/pollen/ comb, meaning any time in the 2 years the comb is used the spore can re activate.
EFB does not have spores.
 

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Alram, I went into the hive on 2/3/20, 2/23/20 and 3/8/20 to add pollen sub and sugar as needed. 3/23/20 was the first time I did a actually moved frames. At this time there were 5 frames of brood. This was a Carniolan colony. I use the Snellgrove double screen board to do splits. At this time I moved 1 frame of brood above the deep plus a frame of honey/pollen. All of the other frames were new foundationless frames on top and bottom. These were added to the outside of the brood nest. As I moved back to foundationless this year they have to draw out new frames. They didn't have any problems keeping up with the new frames. Keeping notes on your hives pays off at times.

This year we had lots of rain in April and the queens must not have been able to fly or couldn't find drones. There were lots of drones in my hives. Usually April 1 is the start of swarm season here in mid-Missouri. Next year I'll wait until the end of of April as someone one here suggested. The hives should be at 8-10 t that time.

You should be a little bit ahead of me as you are a bit further south. There is a queen breeder in the Bootheel of Missouri who starts his operation around the end of March. You may be similar to him in Jonesborough unless you are in mountains? I'm not very familiar with Tn.

GG, I can't confirm that old frames were the only cause of my hive collapse but I suspect it contributed. I tried Hop Guard for the first time that year and that may have been another factor. As far as being polluted I am in the middle of corn, soy and wheat fields. Monsanto/Bayer is headquartered about 70 miles from me. As a result I keep my colonies at the edge of hay fields or pastures.
 

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Alram, do a search on username "Enjambres" and EFB. She started off selectively removing worst comb and storing it. Infection kept reocurring; rinse and repeat. She said something to the effect that she wound up with 3 times as much contaminated stored frames as she would have if she had gone the most aggressive route from day of discovery.

I went down from a dozen hives in spring at the onset to 5 hives going into the next winter. I burned the frames from 3 double deeps and some supers and stored the balance. I found trying to clean frames and install new foundation without spreading disease to be unrewarding and probably futile endeavor. I got sick of working around the stacked equipment so a few months ago dug a hole with backhoe and burried the frames and scorched the hive bodies. This would not be approved disposal for AFB. EFB is currently not a statutory notification disease due to the difference in the spore forming 50 year potential of AFB.

Quite a few of the articles from research into confirmed Melissa plutons bacterial infection claim its greatest longevity is in cells of beebread under honey. There are apparently different strains of the disease with different reactions to Oxytet and more or less virulence. Perhaps this might be behind some peoples experience with it seeming to disappear and not reoccur.

Read many articles and decide which avenue you choose or just roll the dice. Another experience you might want to search is Squarepeg, efb.
 

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For EFB:

The reason that EFB eradication works in Europe is because everyone must notify the state when an outbreak occurs.

They do contact tracing and burn equipment, etc etc.

In my state, the inspectors order was to buy OTC and treat my colonies.
 

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I run all mediums and run a three box brood chamber. I have never culled comb but have notice that I could remove the bottom box on the first 70 degree day and be pretty sure it would be empty of all resources. It would also be some of my oldest comb in the hives as I have only rotated boxes one time in the last five years.

I live by a guy who runs two deep and he likes to crowd the bees really early for good build up. One year I helped him and a couple of his hives, he was able to remove the empty bottom box.
Hope this helps.
Cheers
gww
 

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If I had a positive efb test I would do a shook swarm into all new equipment. I did have a hive that sure seemed like efb that tested negative and I still did it.
As for rotating comb, your method is good. Just keep moving frames out to the sides . When it is ready to come out, replace with foundation between two drawn frames on the edge of the broodnest. You might have to sacrifice some with resources. Use judgment if they can make up for its loss. J
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The honey would be fine for human consumption but why risk contaminating your other colonies.

The best results are a shook swarm and an antibiotic treatment.

Piecemeal comb replacement would not work in your case.New comb would become infected.

http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/shookswarm.html
Is it too late in the season to do a shook swarm? It seems like doing a shook swarm is a technique that would be best done in early spring.
 
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