This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Saturday, June 8, 2019

American Foulbrood On A Frame

This pic shows AFB scale in the cells of a brood frame
A beekeeper couple stopped by Nature's Nectar LLC on Friday. I have been helping out there this week. They said their hive has been performing badly for the last three years. So, they brought some brood frames in to look at. They purchased their equipment used. The ways to get American foulbrood is used equipment, robbing out a diseased colony or from feeding store bought honey.
 At a quick glance, I could see that their frames were loaded with American Foulbrood scale. The way to look for scale, is to hold the frame by the ears of the top bar. Tilt the bottom of the frame slightly away from you. Look at the bottom of the cells. The scale is always located on the bottom of the cell. If you looked straight into the cells you would not see the scale.
  In this picture above, the arrows are pointing at some cells that have scale in them. But, you can see many other cells that have scale in them. This scale is highly infectious, it does not go away and the bees cannot remove it. The only reliable method of treatment is high temperature therapy. A bonfire.
 After discussing options with the beekeepers and remedy their situation. The remedy is, to take their boxes that they are using and blacken the inside of the box with a torch. Direct contact with an open flame will kill AFB spores on contact. Then new frames and foundation are placed into the boxes. The bees are then shaken on to the new frames and foundation. A feeder pail is then placed on top of the colony. There is now a brood break to break the cycle of infection. The consumption of syrup will flush any remaining spores from the bees bodies. It would be nice to give this hive a couple treatments of Terramyacin. You need a prescription from a Veterinarian to get Terramyacin. By the time there is brood in the hive, the AFB spores should be gone.