Friday, May 20, 2005

Bee Inspector coming Monday

I went into the hives and found three with diseased brood. Research about the two types of Foulbrood, American and European, has convinced me that this is European. The major difference is that the brood becomes diseased before capping. American Foulbrood, the worst kind shows up in capped brood, and causes it to die and become a gluey brown mess, ropy and thick, eventually drying to a brown scale that is glued to the inside of the cell. European Foulbrood causes the larvae to turn yellow-brown while curled at the bottom of the cell and can then become either a gooey brown mass or a white scale on the inside of the cell. Both have an odor, but American Foulbrood is much stinkier. Mine smells vinegary, but only from closeup. I closed up all three with #8 mesh and let the foragers drift.
Our Bee Inspector will make the final decision. He's also burdened with the job as State entomologist so I am grateful to him for coming. I didn't treat with the symptom suppressing Terramycin this spring so this tells me that I have had the disease all along, but kept it from doing serious damage. I'll probably destroy the bees, brood especially, treat the boxes with a torch and toss the sterilized frames. After cleaning my hive handling stuff I need to go through all the hives and look for other signs of EFB. I hope to do that on Sunday pending clear weather.

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