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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Checked one of my hives today and found a brood disease, so I took some pictures:



https://imgur.com/a/Ac487Je


Capped brood was healthy, I pulled off some cappings and they seemed alive and healthy.

The dead brood was mostly 5+ days old and uncapped, but there were some with cappings that were apparently chewed open. I saw some of them apparently had become vertical, and died.

The smaller dead brood was dried outlooking, the bigger ones were somewhat vertical - there was a decent amount of variety - and generally brownish not jet black.

I found some relatively small sections of good brood pattern and healthy young brood of a similar age (5+ days) on adjacent frames.

Generally: the brood pattern was spotty and in between capped brood were these relatively small, dried out looking, and brown colored brood.


Thanks.
 

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Can't see things clearly enough (image is too blurry) but from your description it sounds like EFB, not AFB. And not likely chalkbrood, either. Could be PMS, too.

Get a Vita test for EFB and find out for sure. (I wouldn't bother testing for AFB since you are reporting symptoms only in the uncapped brood.)

Nancy
 

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Hard to tell but if its chalk brood, the bottom board will be littered with "mummies". It's a problem that seems to show up in damp conditions in hives with too little ventilation.
 

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sacbrood from your description, ie...vertical positioned upright in the cell, the head darker than the body, somewhat dried out.

are they easy to remove from the cell?
sack like dried skinned?
not adhering to cell walls?
is there scattered cells with punctured caps?

that's what it looks like imo.
 

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I haven't ever seen sacbrood in my own bees but your pics sure look like the pictures I've seen. Does the hive have a dead bee smell?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
1. There was no unusual smell in the hive. I didn't try taking the larva out of the cells, most of them were quite small looked like they had become dehydrated and died.

2. Photographs of small rotting dead larva in cells is more challenging than I'd imagined. Cells are angled, and sunlight is angled.
Especially with the bee suite and not perfect sunlight conditions. The photographs would have been more telling if the problem had been more widespread - it's affecting maybe 15% of the brood. The 2nd picture is the better of the two.



Assuming its either sacbrood or EFB, can I just feed heavily and rely on the nectar flow+feed to clear this out?
 

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1. There was no unusual smell in the hive. I didn't try taking the larva out of the cells, most of them were quite small looked like they had become dehydrated and died.

2. Photographs of small rotting dead larva in cells is more challenging than I'd imagined. Cells are angled, and sunlight is angled.
Especially with the bee suite and not perfect sunlight conditions. The photographs would have been more telling if the problem had been more widespread - it's affecting maybe 15% of the brood. The 2nd picture is the better of the two.



Assuming its either sacbrood or EFB, can I just feed heavily and rely on the nectar flow+feed to clear this out?

Squarepeg gave you the long answer; to read that entire thread and then decide.

I will give you the short answer; No!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I called my state apiarist for my County.

Hopefully he can take a look and let me know what to do next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update: I spoke to another beekeeper who gets nucs from the same supplier as myself. This beekeeper told me that sacbrood does happen in this stock from time to time, and the symptoms are basically the same as I'm describing.

Hoping this is just a case of sacbrood, but the symptoms of EFB and Sacbrood are quite similar to one another.

I ordered an EFB testing kit, should arrive by the end of the week. Just to be on the safe side.
 

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Update: I spoke to another beekeeper who gets nucs from the same supplier as myself. This beekeeper told me that sacbrood does happen in this stock from time to time, and the symptoms are basically the same as I'm describing.

Hoping this is just a case of sacbrood, but the symptoms of EFB and Sacbrood are quite similar to one another.

I ordered an EFB testing kit, should arrive by the end of the week. Just to be on the safe side.
Good move; a few of the larvae appear EFB but some more like sacbrood. It is hard to get good lighting and focus on cell bottoms to get all the detail.
 

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Agree it looks like EFB. The test kits are valuable in learning to recognize it and worth the money. I bought into the "a good flow will clear it up" line. In my case it did NOT. I have wondered if the EFB is a different strain from the old literature? You can't rely on the old advice for EFB, that is for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
The state inspector is going to come take a look at my hives. He didn't say when exactly.

I found these symptoms in 3 more of my hives at this point. I also noticed that in one of the infected hives I was heavily feeding, the symptoms are decreasing significantly.

One symptom does stand out: A decent fraction of the pupal/larval heads are turning black. I'm noticing occasionally some of the more mature pupa are dying too, looks like they were uncapped by the bees. Heads turning black on some of them. I checked for stringiness, no stringiness no smell at all. I held some of the more putrid appearing remains right up to my nose, virtually no smell.


Test kit is on the way, but I'm probably going to let the inspector do the test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
European foulbrood - positive test, now what?

After discovering concerning symptoms a week ago, I did a test and confirmed I have a case of EFB in my hives.

It doesn't appear to be terribly advanced yet, and there's still some healthy brood.

Is it possible to treat with antibiotics and not have to do anything else?

I called the state apiarist, he's going to come take a look at the hives.

I literally just started beekeeping. I installed my nucs 1 month ago, and there's very few other beekeepers in my area.

Don't really have any ability or money left for new equipment at this point.

You think if I caught this early enough I'll be able to successfully eradicate this disease with antibiotics?
 

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Re: European foulbrood - positive test, now what?

i haven't been terribly impressed with what terramycin is doing for the handful of colonies that i am treating with it.

a couple of colonies that were probably too far gone by the time treatment was started didn't turn around and have been euthanized.

a couple of others that should have been strong enough to recover are continuing to dwindle and will likely get euthanized.

a couple of others seem to be holding their own and should have the first rounds of 'healthier' brood emerging soon. the jury is still out on those and there's always the risk the efb will rebloom once treatments are over.

did all your nucs come from the same supplier? have you contacted them about the efb? i'm guessing your state inspector will be wanting to check out the supplier's operation.

what state and county are you in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Re: European foulbrood - positive test, now what?

i haven't been terribly impressed with what terramycin is doing for the handful of colonies that i am treating with it.

a couple of colonies that were probably too far gone by the time treatment was started didn't turn around and have been euthanized.

a couple of others that should have been strong enough to recover are continuing to dwindle and will likely get euthanized.

a couple of others seem to be holding their own and should have the first rounds of 'healthier' brood emerging soon. the jury is still out on those and there's always the risk the efb will rebloom once treatments are over.

did all your nucs come from the same supplier? have you contacted them about the efb? i'm guessing your state inspector will be wanting to check out the supplier's operation.

what state and county are you in?

I'm in Northeast PA.

Nucs all came from same supplier. Another beekeeper I know has it too from that same supplier.

How did you get Terramycin? Mann lake won't sell it to me without a Veternerians directive.

Unfortunately I just don't have any money to buy all new equipment and frames and foundation, so I guess this is the end unless they can stage a turnaround.

I'm now finding it in most of my colonies. This is a FAST bacteria. 1 week ago I could barely find it in any of them. 1 week ago I was pulling very healthy frames of brood from nearly every single hive.

I need to get that terramycin FAST

Anyone know how much time I have? The disease is approximately 2 weeks old at this point, unfortunately its present in multiple hives.

I've added 1.5 or 2 gallon frame feeders to as many hives as I can at this point.
 

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Re: European foulbrood - positive test, now what?

i obtained my vfd from my local veterinarian who happens to be a personal friend of mine.

the paperwork with mann lake took a day or two, then another week to receive the 'terra-pro' in the mail. then another couple days before weather and time off work allowed me to start applying it.

the problem is that the worker bees only live about a month or so during this time in the season because they are so busy. the population takes a nose dive when the workers start aging out and there is not a new wave of workers coming on line behind them.

it doesn't take long for a colony to get down below a critical number of bees necessary to bounce back. it takes bees to make more bees.

if that supplier cares anything about their reputation and future sales they really should make this right for you. chances are they have to be certified by the state to sell bees and the inspector could shut them down if your efb traces back to them.
 
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