prophylactic treatment for AFB?

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by Bhodi, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    I was recently told by a man who's kept bees for abour 35 years that he treats all 100+ colonies for foul brood every season and was surprised I didn't.

    I sure don't want to step on his toes, but is this necessary?

    it wasn't Terramycin, but it did start with a "T".
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I'm not sure, but I think it is tylan. I don't think you should be treating with anything on a schedule. That's how resistance is built up.

    Commercial beeks do a lot of things we hobbyist don't. They have to be inspected before each interstate move, and once something is found, it makes the inspections that much harder. They use treatments to cover up diseases as much as cure them.
     

  3. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    It was Tylan.

    The rest makes perfect sense now. NY to FLA.

    I don't even buy antibacterial hand soap.

    Still, he's an interesting old fella and I like helping him. It's educational to see another point of view.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    it use to be terramycin and yes I administer this product in small quantities yearly (late fall and very early spring). it is more than somewhat important to follow the label instructions since drug resistant strain are ever more likely to be encourage by improper (insufficient dose) application of the product.

    my primary reason for using this product now (beyond a habit created via one of my several commercial mentors) is I sell a goodly number of nucs in the spring and I think it would be foolish to sell stock and not make every effort to make certain they are healthy. for me not apply terramycin would be penny wise and pound foolish.

    if I reverted to a business plan of simply selling honey (and given the quantity of hygenic stock I have added to my base here) I think I would not use the product at all. you would suspect that use of the product would mask somewhat any signicant benefit from hygenic stock.
     
  5. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I live in a state that suggests prophylactic treatment with tylan. I think that is bad advice.

    Recently attended a talk where this topic was raised. It was suggested that beekeepers are way over applying tylan, to the degree that contamination was a real concern. This was also suggested that it will speed the resistance, which may be a really bad thing since it is HIGHLY unlikely that another antibiotic will be issued for bees in the future. There are real fears of the inability of having enough options for human antibiotics in the future, if we constantly bombard other animals with such use. Crossover diseases will be harder to combat if the rest of the animals, many in which we eat in the food chain, have been long term exposed and treated. The powers that be, have been making an effort in NOT registering any new antibiotic registrations for the farming community.

    If you ever mixed tylan, it take a very SMALL amount to be added to sugar, especially when compared to terramycin. They also add much confusion as to how the directions are lised. "Mix 200mg in 20 g of sugar, etc." I've asked many people how they mix out "grams" or "mg" and the answers are far from being correct. Beekeepers know what a two pound bag of powdered sugar is. They know a teaspoon. Many have no clue to mixing 200mg with 20 g"
     
  6. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Or over applying it too.

    I know a guy who uses TM300. Labeled for hogs. He used to get it in 100 lb bags. But not any more since he sold his operation.

    tecumseh,
    What would happen if you stopped using TM or Tylosin and burned the AFB cases that showed up in your bees? In the long run, wouldn't that be less expensive and time consuming, since you wouldn't have to buy the drugs and wouldn't have to apply them? Do you suggest to your customers that they follow your regimen to keep their bees from coming down w/ AFB?
     
  7. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    BjornBee,

    I'm a little surprised that your State Apiculturalist recommends that course of action. Why does he? Do you know?

    I'm also skeptically curious about resistance. NYS has been sending samples to Beltsville for years for verification and resistance testing. I don't know that there is any pattern of resistant strains showing up in the state. Or if there is any real indication that the resistant samples have anything to do w/ inadequate or over dosing of TM. But, I also doubt that anyone is really investigating that. They are too busy doing the inspecting.
     
  8. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Mark,
    I think two things add to the resistance, which has gone up over the years. 1) Most AFB cases are from those who had AFB previously. Anyone who had AFB last year was on a "hot list" for this year. 2) These beekeepers, which probably treat on a schedule and have been treated the same comb now for 20 or 30 years. So knowing they will be inspected, they treat and treat, and treat. And we all know that treating long term with no rotation and possible buildup in the comb or improper use of extender patties, will contribute to resistance.

    About 6 o7 years ago, when resistance first started getting notice, maybe less than 5% of AFB was resistant. Last year, samples tested, (and here they test all samples for resistance), that number exceeded 30% resistance to terramycin.

    The better part of 2007 and 2008 had Tylan being listed for prophylactic treatment listed on the state bee website. Only after I started asking questions and wanting to know who "authorized" such advice be listed, did it magically stop, with nobody taking credit. We continue to hear comments like "When prophylactic treating, use tylan as there is no resistance" from inspectors, and other folks. It's like they accept that beekeepers do this, and instead of trying to teach a better way, just go along with it.

    Inspector programs have traditionally always wanted to show improving numbers. It was a sign they were doing their jobs, etc. So maybe the use of tylan just fit into this need. On the other hand, this year we are facing a complete cut in funding for inspectors for next year. So this year, inspectors are trying to find every possible thing they can, so justification of their jobs can be increased. It's like "We need inspectors! Look at all this disease we are finding. Without us, the industry would be in peril!" I'm not saying anything bad about the inspectors (and I do support them), just mentioning the change of outlook from one year to the next. And why perhaps some things happen or are suggested in treating this way, or reporting things that way. With "resistance" that is something the average beekeeper can not test for. So it was a "need" for the inspectors to provide. Until CCD, we talked about mites for 20 years. So something new came along (AFB resistance) and it was something to track, test, and buzz about.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    mark writes:
    What would happen if you stopped using TM or Tylosin and burned the AFB cases that showed up in your bees? In the long run, wouldn't that be less expensive and time consuming, since you wouldn't have to buy the drugs and wouldn't have to apply them? Do you suggest to your customers that they follow your regimen to keep their bees from coming down w/ AFB?

    tecumseh:
    well I think the important thing here to keep in mind is that afb is highly infectious and that if you don't have some plan on hand to deal with this disease when they first arise then it will quite likely very quickly spread to not only your own but also the hives of others and feral hives. often time in these kinds of discussion the real rub is the differentiation between short term and long term solution and the way one may operate in opposition to the other. and yes Mark I have often thought that a cup of gasoline and a match is a much more direct and inexpensive way of dealing with the problem of afb.

    another question might be... are you going to deal with this problem when it is full ranging forest fire or are you going to cut fire breaks and do control burns before the problem flares up?

    in the long run it is simplier to add hygenic stock to deal with the problem. which I am also actively doing.

    I really dont suggest anything to anyone mark. I personally don't have any problem with describing what I do in regards to maintaining my own bees. I assume then that folks will do as they do.

    I do know that if a problem occur with one of my customer's hives that my inability or failure to purchase and apply 5 cents worth of cure would sound a bit lame.
     
  10. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    T, ol' buddy,
    AFB is infectious, but highly? I've never seen untreated AFB spread throughout an operation like wildfire. I do know that it is serious. I'm not saying that anyone should do what I do or have done, but I have stopped using TM and Tylosin. I use fire. I haven't had a year when i haven't had a few cases, but never any more than and usually less than the state average. I had 3 or 4 out of 400 this year. We all have to do what makes the most sense to us and our own business or hobby.

    OFF TOPIC,
    What the heck is going on in Texas? PM me on this as it is political, not bee related.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    mark writes:
    AFB is infectious, but highly? I've never seen untreated AFB spread throughout an operation like wildfire.

    tecumseh:
    your numbers are excellent and that speak for itself in regard to your strategies effectiveness and your own skill in recognizing and dealing with the problem. calling on very old numbers (from say 30 years back) the typical afb infestation rate of commercial operators was somewhere around 2 to 3 %. at the time I wondered what magic number triggered a total inspection and/or the non issue of permits?

    when I said 'highly infectious' in my prior remarks my 'thinking' was more directed at the yard level. this 'notion' is primarily based on what I have read in the old journal and via stories told by commercial bee keeping folks prior to the days of antibiotic treatment for afb. I have never seen afb in any significant numbers myself... definitely nothing approaching an epidemic outbreak. then again the folks I worked for 'dusted' with terramycin/tylosan as a preventative in the late fall or early winter and I do the same.
     
  12. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    tec,
    It's my understanding that Apiary Inspection programs in the U.S. started way back the second quarter of the 20th century. I forget exactly when, maybe 1940 something. Back then bees wax was quite a lot more desirable and necassary to industry and munitions (big shells). So, when AFB levels became epidemic, a really high percentage of the colonies all over the place, inspection programs started up to protect the beekeeping industry from itself. I believe that the NYS Beelaws state that Apiary Inspection is charged w/ protecting the Beekeeping Industry from diseases and pests of honeybees. The communicability of AFB was presented as very high. And I imagine that it appeared to be, when so many already had it. But, since these programs have been in effect and we have had Sulfathiazole, TM and now Tylosin, AFB levels have been brought down to 2 or 3% levels, when at one time they were alot higher. We, as beekeepers, are much more knowledgable and aware of AFB, what it is, looks like and what to do about it.

    Another thing that has brought down AFB percentage rates is, at least in NY, the orchards and other fruit growers who no longer own their own hives. They now know the benefit of paying a beekeeper to bring in and remove colonies of good strength and health, rather than buying packages to replace their deadouts that they never worked afterwards.

    I think that Varroa is alot more of a problem and an expense than AFB. Though when a colony is dead from Varroa, the equipment isn't infected.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    mark writes:
    I think that Varroa is alot more of a problem and an expense than AFB. Though when a colony is dead from Varroa, the equipment isn't infected.

    tecumseh:
    thanks for the history lesson mark.

    I know I spend more money and time and worry over a long list of b health concerns long before afb shows up on the ever expanding list.
     
  14. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    >>>AFB is infectious, but highly? I've never seen untreated AFB spread throughout an operation like wildfire. <<<

    Back in the mid 80's I was going to buy 30 hive from a fella that was retiring, after making inspections on his hives we found all were infected with AFB. He burnt all hives and wooden wares, what a way to retire.

    G3
     
  15. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Luckily you dodged the bullet. I know a guy who, 30 years ago, was given for free 4 or 5 truck loads of supers and other woodenware equipment. When I met him, as an Inspector, he had a number of cases of AFB in his colonies. I took samples for lab confirmation, tagged the AFB colonies and wrote a quarantine and abatment order. The beekeeper burned the infected colonies.

    This happened again each year, for two more years, until, after he told me about the free equipment, we looked over some of that equipment. After 20 years I could still see scale in some of the comb.

    So, the original owner, actually the widow of the original beekeeper, got someone to get rid of her clutter.

    Nothing is really free. And education is expensive, no matter which school you go to.
     
  16. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    By dodging the bullet means I would have turned out to be a commercial beek, that is kind of where I was heading at the time, but my interest turned else where.

    I guess that is why my answer on the topic of the county inspector was a little harsh. In my mind I kind of blamed him for helping to spread AFB to others yards back then. After he would find AFB in someones yard, he would proceed to someone elses yard without cleaning his gloves or hive tool. So to me he was helping to spread this disease all over the county.

    But that was when I was young and dumb, now I am much older and still just as dumb as ever. I mean come on, I still like to play with a box of bugs.

    G3
     
  17. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Even though I do believe that it is best for ones tools to be as clean as possible when an Inspector goes from one yard to another, I question the idea that Inspector spread disease.

    This idea reminds me of an article that I once saw in Speedy Bee (remember Speedy Bee?). It was about AIDS, Apiary Inspector Disease Syndrome.

    If bees are otherwise healthy, how much or how little an amount of residue from a diseased colony does it take to infect another colony? And how much of anything does an Inspector or a beekeeper transfer to another colony from a previous colony, if they don't wash their tools? I don't know any beekeepers who wash their tools between each yard and especially between each hive. And I don't see epidemic levels of disease.

    Another thing that I am reminded of is that at one time their was talk of NYS Apiary Inspectors removing their clothes and fumigating them between each yard, to cut down on transfer of varroa. I think that we were going to be issued coveralls. This would have been somewhat impractical and probably unnecessary.
     
  18. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    So if I have some hives that have AFB and I dig all through them you going to give me the green light to dig through your hives next??

    As I said above "to me he was helping to spread....."

    I do not have any scientific study to prove or disprove it in anyway shape form or fashion, it was just my thinking from many years ago.

    Was not trying to start anything, just stating my dumb thoughts.

    G3
     
  19. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would be inclined to think any inspector would clean his tools when leaving a yard where he found AFB, even if not after "clean" yards.

    G3, are you nearing that time of the month? You seem a little moody tonight.

    :club: :D
     
  20. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    HAHA in a house full of wimmens what do you expect from me.

    Four teenage daughters and a wife.

    The dog, cat, bull and me are the only males around, even all of the drone bees are gone now.
    What's a fella to do!!! :frustrated:

    G3