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Author Topic: Natural beekeeping/AFB question  (Read 7741 times)
Rosalind
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« on: January 09, 2011, 11:33:18 AM »

For the record, if my hive came down with AFB, I'm pretty sure it's required that I burn it. My question is more about terramycin prophylaxis.

I am not a huge fan of using antibiotics widely in any livestock operation, largely because this is how resistance evolves and transmits resistant, incurable infections to humans. Prophylaxis simply speeds up the rate at which bacteria become resistant, it's really a non-ideal situation.

Has anyone ever looked into bacteriophage treatment for the Paenibacillus larvae bacteria? Bacteriophage was used for decades as a treatment for human bacterial infections in Soviet Russia, especially in areas where the supply chain was disrupted enough that antibiotics couldn't be shipped there. A smallish lab can easily cook up quite a lot of phage, and it is highly specific--completely harmless to humans or even to any human symbiotic bacteria. The yogurt bacteria living in your guts would be perfectly safe, even if you drank a quart of the stuff. Phage can be shipped freeze-dried and reconstituted like any vaccine that is currently sold OTC for veterinary use. Phage can be mixed to treat several common bacterial diseases at once, and inaccurate dosing isn't a huge issue; the phage will multiply to kill any of the Paenibacillus it contacts, and any excess will dry up and die. The old USSR hospitals used to mix several phages for the most common local diseases with saline and use that to spray down operating room equipment before surgery, it is very effective.

The only reason phage therapies haven't been commercialized very much is mostly for patent protection reasons. Although I think there are a few startup companies currently working on applications for biofilm-type infections, the problem is that it was in use for so long, and is so easy to make, that it's hard to get any intellectual property or licensing deals. But when it comes to prophylactic dosing and using substances that don't affect humans at all, it seems like phage would be a much better choice than terramycin, from a standpoint of pharmaceutical residues in food.

Thoughts? Comments? Ideas? Criticisms?
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Acebird
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 07:50:08 PM »

Do you really think this is something that could be successfully done in the average bee yard?  I don't believe the average bee keeper has the expertise to pull this one off.  Do you?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 08:37:43 PM »

The "yogurt" bacteria in your gut is what the bees use to ferment the pollen.  You are on the right track.  If you let healthy microbes live you your hives you may never had AFB issues.

http://bushfarms.com/beesmorethan.htm

Some states require burning.  Some require "treatment" but don't define what that is.

http://bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#afb

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Acebird
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 08:04:23 AM »

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Some states require burning.  Some require "treatment" but don't define what that is.

In your opinion, is it wise to reuse equipment that you know is infected with AFB?  I can't imagine the bees wanting to live in a torched box.  You can never get the burn smell out.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2011, 10:11:02 AM »

>In your opinion, is it wise to reuse equipment that you know is infected with AFB?

I've never had to deal with it.  If I did I would probably shake the bees into another hive, burn the frames and scorch the boxes.

> a  I can't imagine the bees wanting to live in a torched box.  You can never get the burn smell out.

The bees don't care at all.  I've seen them pretty well charred and the bees didn't care.
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Michael Bush
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hardwood
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2011, 10:24:50 AM »

MB, Do you think re-dipping in your wax/rosin cooker would kill the spores? Maybe encapsulate them?

Scott
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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2011, 11:04:26 AM »

Good question.
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deknow
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2011, 11:11:48 AM »

...on the one hand, it's pretty well established that foundation made from wax containing spores does not transmit AFB (presumably encapsulation).

on the other hand, if you are dealing with known infected equipment and spores end up in your wax dip, what will you think if/when you do come down with AFB?  will this always be a lingering 'possible source of the infection" in your mind?

deknow
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Acebird
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2011, 12:00:33 PM »

Quote
If I did I would probably shake the bees into another hive, burn the frames and scorch the boxes.

can someone explain to me how shaking bees that could be covered in spores into another hive doesn't just spread the disease?
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deknow
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2011, 12:04:21 PM »

http://www.google.com/search?q=shake+bees+afb&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
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AllenF
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2011, 12:23:01 PM »

When the bees are shook into a new hive, with all new frames, they are then fed syrup with meds for a couple of weeks.   All the spores on the old equipment is burned.   The new hive with meds now has stopped the AFB.
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deknow
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2011, 12:40:09 PM »

...this technique was widely used and known to be effective long before antibiotics.  based on some of the research out of sweden that shows honey stomach bacteria to possibly fight AFB, I expect that using TM in conjunction with the shakedown is why it isn't seen as effective by many.

deknow
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WPG
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2011, 03:22:01 PM »

Heat kills the spores.

Melting the wax to make foundation kills the spores, not encloser.
 No way to guarrantee no spores on suface.

Charring hive body insides kills the spores. The spores don't bore deep into the wood.

Hot dipping hive parts kills the spores.
 
An Australian Ag. study in 1998 determined and declared that hot dipping would destroy American Foulbrood spores.
The wax/rosin needed to be 150C(302F)-160C(320F) {for safety never above 180C(356F)} and the item needed to immersed for atleast 10 minutes.

Antibiotics do not destroy all spores, just reduce them to a level the bees can handle, so inspection shows the hives are clean.

Weak bees(or weak strains) are likely to suffer from many of the ailments out there. Strong bees keep them under control.

A strong hive is not necessarily a hive of strong bees.
We need more strong bees.
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Acebird
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2011, 08:32:22 PM »

...
Quote
this technique was widely used and known to be effective long before antibiotics.


OK I can see where it is effective but it surely contaminates the new hive equipment with spores so if the bees get stressed it is likely you will have another outbreak.

Quote
Hot dipping hive parts kills the spores.

This is what I was thinking.  You could place the wooden parts in an oven for a specific amount of time to kill the spores.  At first I was thinking steam but I see the temperatures are higher than steam.
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fat/beeman
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2011, 08:49:55 PM »

from the commercial stand point I would burn never reuse the equipment. as for tm =no its a cover up. as for shaking bees on new comb might work. for me I have never had that problem and would not take a chance on my living to risk it. we are looking at different stand points hobby/commercial.
Don
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rdy-b
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2011, 09:04:27 PM »

...
Quote
this technique was widely used and known to be effective long before antibiotics.


OK I can see where it is effective but it surely contaminates the new hive equipment with spores so if the bees get stressed it is likely you will have another outbreak.

Quote
Hot dipping hive parts kills the spores.

This is what I was thinking.  You could place the wooden parts in an oven for a specific amount of time to kill the spores.  At first I was thinking steam but I see the temperatures are higher than steam.
  the way to do it is shake the bees on foundation-leave them one frame of drawn comb-in 24 hrs
 time the bees will have expelled any honey in there honey gut into the drawn frame-then remove that frame and feed feed feed-RDY-B
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Jim 134
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2011, 06:08:55 AM »

For the record, if my hive came down with AFB, I'm pretty sure it's required that I burn it.

 Not in MA.  states require "burning" or  "treatment" and retesting
 


     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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Acebird
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2011, 08:04:56 AM »

Quote
the way to do it is shake the bees on foundation-leave them one frame of drawn comb-in 24 hrs
time the bees will have expelled any honey in there honey gut into the drawn frame-then remove that frame and feed feed feed-RDY-B

I read the link that deknow provided.  I understand that dumping the bees on to “clean” comb reduces the numbers of bacteria so the bees can regain their strength and be healthy again.  This is similar to treating with chemicals not all the bacteria will die and certainly not all the spores will be sterilized.

What concerns me is #1) the new equipment is now tainted, and #2) these bees had to be weak in the first place to be overcome with the disease.  What made that happen?  Is it genetics or a stress condition?  Another concern I have is how in the world do you get all the bees even if you did decided to burn the whole thing?  If you have an infection in one colony you certainly must have contamination is all the others close by.

I have a question for the ones that “de know”:  What defense mechanism does the bees use to kill off AFB bacteria?  Can we duplicate that mechanism?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 08:33:51 AM by Acebird » Logged

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T Beek
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 08:20:15 AM »

 8-)Some good q & a here, push-pull, push-pull, feels right.  Keep it up members, this is an important topic.

thomas
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fat/beeman
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2011, 09:59:03 AM »

my question would be those that go with trying to treat a infected AFB hive do think that they going to cure it or it just goes away.do you think you might infect other beekeepers in your area or even wipe out all the rest of your own hives?
Don

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