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Author Topic: AFB Curiosity  (Read 1309 times)
SgtMaj
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« on: July 24, 2008, 07:57:22 AM »

I'm just curious about AFB... and I'm wondering if any scientists of science geeks/beeks out there know if this has been tried...

Since AFB is a gram positive bacterium, has any research been done to try to treat hives infected with AFB by disinfecting all equipment/hives/frames/etc. with acriflavine (trypaflavine) or monacrin (monoaminoacridine) (with a 0.2% solution of course) and treating the infected bees with a broad spectrum antibiotic such as erytromycin?  It seems to me like this could be a good way of eliminating AFB from a hive, though it would require some careful management as you would have to do the disinfecting in sets, but you could simply take half the frames/boxes off (and since infection, I'm sure you'd need to reduce the size of the hive to account for the weakening of the hive), begin feeding syrup with the erytromycin or other gram positive effective broad spectrum antibiotic, disinfect all your equipment along with the 1/2 the hive boxes and frames you removed, then go back in two weeks, swap out the frames and boxes with the disinfected ones and transfer the bees over to them.  This would of course destroy all the brood, so it would probably have to be done in November/December when brood rearing has ceased.  But I really think it would work.  So I'm wondering if anyone knows of any studies done on that... I tried a google search, but that was useless.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2008, 09:02:45 AM »

They probably have. The big problem is the SPORES, they are viable for many years, currently there are no chemical or biological remedies for the spores, but a chemical reaction called FIRE.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2008, 09:57:27 AM »

Well that's why I mentioned the use of acriflavine (trypaflavine) or monacrin (monoaminoacridine), both of which are used to disinfect and destroy spores of other gram positive and highly resistant bacterium such as skin TB.  If it works for that, it should work for this.  Granted, there are no broad spectrum antibiotics that work to fully eradicate skin TB in humans, but they can be used to control it somewhat, but I have seen studies on AFB where some broad spectrum antibiotics were able to cure the particular generation of bees it was fed to (though they were subsequently re-infected by the contaminated hive and equipment, which is where the disinfecting would come into play).  Further, those disinfecting agents shouldn't be toxic to the bees (other than those still in larval stage that would certainly die from the cold when the frame was sprayed or dipped in the solution without any workers to keep it warm).
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2008, 11:41:59 AM »

Contact these two ( members of MAAREC ) I do not know them personally, but they are highly respected individuals in their respected fields.  grin   Maryann Frazier is currently working on CCD.

Maryann Frazier
Department of Entomology
The Pennsylvania State University
501 ASI Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-4621
Email: mxt15@psu.edu

Dewey Caron
Department of Entomology & Applied Ecology
250 TNS
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19717
302-831-8883
Email: Dmcaron@udel.edu


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Vetch
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2008, 12:27:28 PM »

I would think that peroxide or some other cleaner would be better for disinfecting wood. It will scour everything it comes into contact with.  Antibiotics are more for living organisms - they inhibit the bacteria without killing the bee or the person with an infection.

I would be reluctant to use chlorine bleach unless I had a really long time to let the wood breath. Not sure if quats (quaternary ammonium chlorides, a common disinfectant) are ok to use with bees.  Alcohol (70%) is another good disinfectant, and would completely evaporate in a matter of days or weeks, depending on the wood.
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