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Discussion Starter #1
I was at a meeting a while back and someone asked an old beekeeper that was there "Do you have American Foul Brood ?"
And his reply was "Yes I'm a beekeeper and it is everywhere"

I am trying to process the comment if anyone can help me that would be great.I know as soon as he said that some of the people had the look
as if he just pulled a rattlesnake out of his pocket.

Any truth to the comment?
 

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I think more than anything his comment shows a healthy awareness of AFB.

My take is that most colonies have very low infection rates that the bees are able to take care of.

Some make sure the levels stay low by using drugs prophylacticly. This, from what I understand, primarily masks the symptoms and does not kill the AFB.

It is when AFB is not at very low levels that problems arise.

Your best bets are to learn to recognize AFB, learn how it spreads, learn what scale looks like, and if you have any doubt in your diagnostic skills have an experienced beekeeper (or lab) lined up to confirm your diagnosis. (If you ever have an opportunity to learn the smell I encourage you to do so. I worked with a frame last year that had me smelling AFB for two days!)

Burning hives is no fun, but burning hives when they didn't merit burning is even worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It must come from experience because most of the old keepers did not react to the comment but the newer ones were really concerned,I am going to ask my mentor about it too,I am sure he has come across it from time to time.
 

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In general (not just bees), the pathogens that cause disease are usually very widespread, and fought off as a matter of routine. It is once the levels of those pathogens increases, or the host becomes weak, or a mutation arises, that problems crop up. For humans, that is one reason why hospitals are a great source of infection: weaker patients and lots of germs that have come to survive multiple doses of antiseptic.

E. Coli is everywhere, MRSA is everywhere and we all "have it." We don't always display symptoms because our bodies fight them off as a matter of course. For AFB there is a difference between the bacterium that causes AFB being everywhere, and an outbreak of AFB being everywhere. I'd ask the beekeeper himself if that is what he meant. Go to the source!
 
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