Do I have AFB? (picture)

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by SteaknEggs, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. SteaknEggs

    SteaknEggs New Member

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    I inherited my first hive two weeks ago (25-Aug-2011) when my friend re-located with work. I just opened it up for inspection.

    Yikes! This looks like foul brood. Is it AFB or EFB or other?

    Picture attached, plus several more big clear photos here:
    http://totalb.com/tmp/bees/

    Any advice appreciated.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    When I enlarge that pic it looks likes there are small "maggots" crawling around on the brood comb. I would say you have a case of small hive beetles.

    AFB will have a very distinct foul smell, think of something dead and rotting. The capped cells will be a little greasy looking and sunken in, and you can take a toothpick or twig and push it into a brood cell and the dead brood will be "ropey" and string out of the cell on the end of the twig.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    very small cluster of bees and brood almost nonexistent and do not see any stores.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Look at the sticky thread above this one. The pics show a stick being pulled from a cell. Do that test on yours and see if it is ropy like in the pics. Then report back and we can go from there.
     
  5. SteaknEggs

    SteaknEggs New Member

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    Thank you all very much for the responses. I will do the test and take pictures.
     
  6. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    After looking through the pics in the link these poor gals may not make it. Looks like they are over run with SHB and mites. Looks like the partly developed larva are being pulled out and mites can be seen on the bottom board. The maggots are SHB larva and once they get a good foot hold the bees have a very hard time recovering because they multiply sooo fast.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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  8. SteaknEggs

    SteaknEggs New Member

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    Thank you very much for the reply and the referral!

    Don’s Bee Yard is about 70 miles from me. I might being seeing him in the spring to buy a replacement swarm.

    I have also gotten a response from the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association. There are several people within just a few miles of my house. One of them is going to help me diagnose it, and determine if they can be saved. If not, I'll clean it up and re-swarm.

    Its really great to have a resource like this forum to help with questions.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    A G3 snip..
    Looks like the partly developed larva are being pulled out and mites can be seen on the bottom board. The maggots are SHB larva and once they get a good foot hold the bees have a very hard time recovering because they multiply sooo fast.

    tecumseh:
    I am not certain about G3 snip (above). Most likely the larvae are flies (they don't appear large enough to be small hive beetles) The cause looks more like starvation than anything else. I would be somewhat concerned based on the varroa on the bottom board but since there appears to have been some robbing the source of the varroa could be from anywhere. The pupae on the bottom board appear to me to be more evidence of starvation... the intermediate stage of starvation in a hive is canalabilization (sp?) of eggs, larvae and pupae.

    as a rule Steak and Eggs you have to get a picture flush with the frame and looking directly down into the cell to obtain some initial determination if AFB or EFB is the culprit. EFB attacks the early larval stage, the larvae will look an off colored yellowish. AFB stinks like rotting meat and attacks the early pupae stage <so AFB sometimes looks somewhat like you picture in that the capping may be punctured. Some folks go the ropy/non roapy test with a toothpick or such. with AFB the pupae end up looking a bit like a melted puddle at the bottom of the cell.
     
  10. SteaknEggs

    SteaknEggs New Member

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    Thank you for all the great replies!

    I have also gotten some input from two mentors with the local Metro Atlanta Beekeeping Assoc. The conclusion is that its not AFB, but multiple problems in the advanced stages, and unlikely to save this colony.

    Based on input, I will freeze all the frames to decontaminate, and re-nuc in the spring.
     
  11. SteaknEggs

    SteaknEggs New Member

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    One more update. I did not mention this, but when I first noticed debris build up at the entrance, I also noticed some big black flies entering and leaving. Without this information, one reader commented that the larva looked too small for SHB and he suggested it was black fly larva. So maybe that is it.

    But if it is black flies, how do I prevent that next year? Would a strong colony fend this off, without my assistance? It could be the mites weakened them first, which allowed the flies to get a hold.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    steak n eggs writes:
    if it is black flies, how do I prevent that next year? Would a strong colony fend this off, without my assistance? It could be the mites weakened them first

    tecumseh:
    the dying larvae attracted the flies and as you suggest a strong hive would never have allowed them to ever get anywhere near the brood area. as you also might assume large number of flies outside a hive are a good exterior hive indicator that something is amiss.

    I am glad you found some local mentors... for a new bee keeper that is always a plus. A bee club setting is a nice way to obtain local knowledge and bee type resources.

    I do hope your next attempt at bee keeping goes a bit smoother. Best of luck to ya'.