European Foulbrood?

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by d.magnitude, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    IMG_0586.jpg IMG_0589.jpg

    I actually had my camera for once, so I thought I'd run this by you guys. I noticed a frame with dead brood like this a week ago, and thought it was chilled brood. Now in the same colony, I've seen a couple more frames like this.

    It only seems to be open brood (larvae) that are discolored, from brown to black; no affected capped cells that I see. I tried the ol' twig test to see if the dead brood was "ropey", but it did not seem to be. Oh, and it smelled foul.

    I was under the impression that EFB was mostly a bacterial stress disease that a colony can take care of on it's own when there's a nectar flow on. Well, it's starting here, but this hive seems to be getting worse. What to do?

    I did remove this frame (though there are a couple more affected frames left in the hive), and will cut a comb and brood sample to send to Beltsville, just to see what they say.

    This has been a very rough year for my colonies, with not a lot coming out of the winter, but I've only noticed symptoms like these in one or two survivors (and nothing like this in the deadouts).

    -Dan

    ps- the kicker is, this was to be my cell builder colony when rearing queens this year. I guess that's out.
     
  2. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I would guess no. To me it looks more like either chilled or neglected brood.

    with efb you might expect the older larvae to look yellowish.
     
  4. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    You're killing me. I was starting to feel confident about (if not good about) the diagnosis. Chilled brood was my initial thought, but I don't know why the amount of affected brood would increase over a week or two- especially in a colony that seems otherwise relatively strong.

    I read the link that Barbarian posted, and have read similar stuff elsewhere. Recommendations for control seem to vary greatly. Some sources suggest EFB will just clear up on it's own during a nectar flow. Others suggest you need to shake out the colony and burn the equipment. The more hard-nosed approaches seem to be out of the UK and Europe.

    I guess I need a good diagnosis before I do anything drastic. I don't think I should wait until Beltsville gets back to me, though.

    -Dan
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I still do not see efb in the pictures... it just don't look like that. the location of the frame in the box might tell you something.

    general recommendation here for efb is 1) dusting with tm and 2) requeening in persistent cases. in many case a good flow will clear the problem up itself which at least suggest there is a nutritional aspect to the disease.
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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  7. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Ok, ok. You guys are talking me into the chilled brood diagnosis (I "like" that diagnosis better anyway). Riverbee, that first picture you have linked looks pretty much like what I was seeing. It did smell really foul, though.

    Thinking back, I left myself a clue that maybe it was just chilled brood. I mentioned this colony is one I set up to be a cell builder. When setting up a cell builder, there's a lot of taking out and shuffling around of frames. Perhaps one or two got left out of the box a little too long. I didn't notice the problem until going back to check on the cells, and found multiple affected frames once I started digging around. Timing sounds about right.

    Thanks for the help guys (I hope chilled brood is right). Time may tell, and I'll fill you in.

    -Dan

    ps- Times have been busy, and I've been away from the forum for a little while. I really do appreciate that you guys (collectively) are always here for me in a pinch, and there's always some great advice to be found here.
     
  8. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    dan, i have no idea what it is, sorta looks like efb, sorta looks like chilled brood. i have had chilled brood, but not on so many frames. and thankfully i have never experienced efb. what you said about smelling foul, and the increase on these frames in a strong colony did make me wonder if it wasn't efb. one more question, did you treat this colony this spring with any miticides?
     
  9. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    negative. no miticide treatments this spring.
     
  10. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    thanks dan, i have read, and something recently, where spring miticide treatments will also cause, or mimic efb and chilled brood, or what you are seeing.

    am very curious about what you are experiencing and interested in what the diagnosis is from beltsville. doesn't help you in the meantime. best wishes.
     
  11. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Dan ,
    In the stickies posts located at the top of this category. I posted all about AFB and EFB fully explained and illustrated including treatment options. Chilled or neglected brood seems most likely.
    Barry
     
  12. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Just when I was starting to get comfortable with the idea that this was chilled brood, I got the report back from the Beltsville Bee lab. Unfortunately, my gut was right, and the comb sample was positive for European Foulbrood.

    Still not sure how to proceed, as recommendations (including those found through this forum) seem to be all over the place. I am not going to treat with Tylan or Terramycin.
    So I guess my options are:
    -Go for the "shaken swarm" method, and move the bees into clean equipment,
    -Or, just let it go, maybe requeen, and see if it improves.

    I've read all the links and recommendations.
    What I'm curious about is- When you guys have actually experienced EFB, how did you treat it (or not)?

    -Dan
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    My method of treatment has been Terramycin----but I haven't used it in many years.
     
  14. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    dan, thanks for the update, i can't help you out, never experienced efb, and like you, thought maybe it was efb for the number of frames affected and the foul smell.
    well wishes to you.
     
  15. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Never had it but from anyone I knew, Terramyacin or Oxytet, after the bees were shook onto new equipment was the order of the day.
     
  16. Apiarist

    Apiarist New Member

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    I had EFB for the first time last spring (that I remember). Like Dan, the hive that came down with it was a populous colony and I had made a cell starter from it. So, I couldn't figure out the problem and by the time Beltsville confirmed it for me, I had lost several splits. Anyhow, I used Terramycin in the ready to go mix and it cleared it right up. I didn't treat any of the splits and some pulled out of it so they are grafting candidates this year.
     
  17. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Wow- the similarity of our situations is uncanny, Apiarist.

    I'm refraining from using Terramycin. I have been chemical-free so far; and even though I don't have a problem with isolated and appropriately deliberate use, I'd rather maintain my record at this point.

    I did a quick check in the hive earlier this week, and it hasn't seemed to progress. I'll do a good inspection this weekend, and if it's not remarkably improved, I may shake into new equipment. Needless to say, I don't think I should continue to use this colony as a cell builder as-is, even if symptoms go away.

    The real rub is that since I had set this up as a cell-builder, my associated gear (cell bar frame, Cloake board, etc.) should probably be assumed to be contaminated. I haven't specifically read this in relation to EFB, but perhaps I'll scorch said equipment to be on the safe side.

    Comments on that plan of action?
    -Dan
     
  18. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    The 'shook swarm' regime is used regularly in the UK on recoverable colonies.

    It seems to sort out the EFB and often the colony goes off like a train. :thumbsup:
     
  19. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I've heard that they can be quite productive after the "shook swarm" procedure. I believe I've also read that re-occurrence of EFB symptoms is lower after the shook swarm procedure, than with terramycin treatment.

    I suppose if I shake them all out onto new frames, I should dispose of/destroy the old EFB frames. That alone makes it a pretty expensive treatment, but maybe worthwhile. I have plenty of drawn comb, but should I shake them onto foundation so they "purge" their system while drawing comb (as I've heard suggested for AFB)?

    Thanks for all the advice (and I'm still open to hearing others' methods of treatment),
    -Dan
     
  20. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Update:
    I went out to check on my EFB hive; with fresh equipment and foundation in the truck, prepared to do a "shook swarm" to move it out of the contaminated stuff.

    On going through the hive, it seems to have really improved. Still kind of spotty brood, but apparently no more dying larvae, and the queen seems to be laying like a champ. This colony looked more like it was ready for a super, than for shaking out into a new hive.

    So... I chickened out. I'm still not going to use terramycin, but I just couldn't bear to "waste" all the brood that was in those (contaminated?) frames by doing a shook swarm. I just took off all the extra equipment (feeder, etc.) to take home and sanitize.

    Did I make a bad call? Is everything that touches or comes out of this hive forevermore endangering every other hive in my operation? I can't exactly "quarantine" the equipment that touches this hive, since it will soon need honey supers, which will ultimately come off and eventually go on other hives.

    What do you say?
    -Dan