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Author Topic: AFB in Nucs?  (Read 1792 times)

Offline fatcat

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AFB in Nucs?
« on: December 11, 2008, 03:44:40 PM »
This was my first summer keeping "the girls".  I purchased 8 nucs from an established beekeeper about 100 miles from my location.  I also purchased extra deeps, frames, and supers (all used) from him.  I ended up with 7 out of my 8 hives having American Foul Brood.  I treated them twice, of course forgoing any honey harvest except from my one strong/healthy hive.  When it was all said and done, I am wintering 5 hives.  My question is, did the AFB probably come already "installed" in his used equipment (he says no, of course) or did it come from "local sources"?  I am quite skeptical about ever buying used equipment again, but new is so pricey.  I appreciate any and all comments.

Offline BjornBee

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Re: AFB in Nucs?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2008, 04:08:59 PM »
98% of new AFB cases comes from beekeeper introduced contamination. That being used equipment, old frames, nucs, etc.

AFB via robbing is possible, but account for very few cases of AFB.

Good advice is to always scorch woodenware, never install old frames or comb from unknown sources and only buy from reputable certified, inspected, and licensed (depending on your state requirements) nuc producers.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 11:23:23 AM by BjornBee »
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Offline Cindi

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Re: AFB in Nucs?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 10:59:06 AM »
Fatcat.  That is a bummer.  The person that sold you the nucs contends that the disease did not come from him.  It most likely did come from him, but he just did not know that the disease was present.  I don't think his intention was to be deceitful or dishonest.  AFB is a nasty one, it can be harboured in the smallest of places.  Bjornbee said to scorch the boxes, etc. when purchasing used equipment.  He is correct in so saying.  But I have also heard talk of not only scorching the boxes, but taking each piece of equipment apart, to scorch the ENTIRE contents, even the cracks.  AFB spores can be harboured even in the smallest of places.  Be always aware when purchasing any used beekeeping equipment that has been used to house bees.  New equipment is expensive, but also is the work that should be done to "purge" old equipment that can be harbouring disease.  It is a catch 22, no doubt.  Sorry to hear of the loss of the colonies, that is a saddened thing.  Have a great life, great day, great health.  Cindi
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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: AFB in Nucs?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 02:25:10 PM »
If all your bees and used equipment are from him, the I can say with almost certainty that what you have came from him.  If you have used equipment from elsewhere, then that starts to introduce some uncertainty. 

I'd guess that it came from the already drawn out comb.  They can get it from boxes and frames, but to have 7 of 8 getting it bad enough for you to notice I'd guess it was in the comb or brood already.

In all likelyhood he treats with terramycin or tylosin as a prophylactic so doesn't ever see any evidence of it in his hives.  This is an extremely common practice.

If you want to get rid of it you are pretty much doomed to getting rid of any used equipment, and starting out fresh.  I've gotten plenty of used equipment, but no comb from one source,and haven't had any problems yet.

Sorry for your troubles, Rick