AFB vaccine

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Alastair

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Assuming the vaccine actually works, it would be very different to an antibiotic such as terramycin.

The difference would be that if a hive is infected with AFB, then the infection is suppressed with terramycin or some other antibiotic, that will leave a bunch of spores in the hive, and the possibility that AFB will become symptomatic again once the antibiotic is no longer present.

If the vaccine works properly, AFB will not happen in the first place. Or, if the vaccine is only say, 50% effective at preventing a hive getting AFB, then us beekeepers would only get 50% as many cases of AFB.

The beauty of that would be that 50% less infections mean 50% less spreading to other hives and beekeepers. If they also reduced that by 50%, we could be on a downward spiral to zero AFB.

Only my non scientist 2 cent opinion ;)
 
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Assuming the vaccine actually works, it would be very different to an antibiotic such as terramycin.

The difference would be that if a hive is infected with AFB, then the infection is suppressed with terramycin or some other antibiotic, that will leave a bunch of spores in the hive, and the possibility that AFB will become symptomatic again once the antibiotic is no longer present.

If the vaccine works properly, AFB will not happen in the first place. Or, if the vaccine is only say, 50% effective at preventing a hive getting AFB, then us beekeepers would only get 50% as many cases of AFB.

The beauty of that would be that 50% less infections mean 50% less spreading to other hives and beekeepers. If they also reduced that by 50%, we could be on a downward spiral to zero AFB.

Only my non scientist 2 cent opinion ;)

I understand where you come from, but often the infection is in the gear and honey as well. If the hive is sort of immune, you won't see afb in the hive until maybe when the queen changes. I see this as masking afb and I wouldn't use it, unless it works in a way that the infection is done away with, but not sure how that can be done.
 
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Alastair

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Not sure you quite understand vaccination. Vaccination is a way to impart immunity. Immunity means the hive does not get AFB in the first place. Therefore no infection to get into honey supers etc.

If the immunity is only partial, then the hive may or may not get AFB. If it doesn't all good. If it does, beekeeper deals with it just like he always does. AFB is not going to "work it's way" into honey and gear from a hive with no AFB, any more than if the hive was not vaccinated.

At the moment we don't know that much about this vaccine, or just how effective it is. So much comments, including mine, are speculation.

But surely, anything that reduces the amount of hives that get AFB, and therefore the amount of hives that can pass it to other hives, must be a good thing?
 

Alastair

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Also, some hives just have a natural immunity. I recall a case where I rented some hives to another commercial beekeeper. At seasons end I picked the hives up and returned them to my own site. The beekeeper told me they were all inspected for AFB, so (foolishly), I did not re inspect them.

Come first spring inspection, there was a dead one. I checked it and my heart sank, it was rotten with AFB, plus had been robbed. The hive next to it was touching it, and a steady stream of bees from that hive were walking in and out of the other hive, cleaning up the last of the honey and no doubt walking all over the AFB. So I checked that hive, but no AFB.

I mulled over whether I should burn it anyway, but decided no, I wanted to see what would happen. As the dead hive had been robbed I was expecting other hives to come down with AFB also, so put the whole site into quarantine and it stayed in quarantine 3 years. Over that time several other hives did come down with AFB, but the hive that had been walking in and out of the AFB deadout never got AFB. It was eventually taken out of quarantine but I left it marked so I could keep a special eye on it, and to this day it has stayed AFB free.
 
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Not sure you quite understand vaccination. Vaccination is a way to impart immunity. Immunity means the hive does not get AFB in the first place. Therefore no infection to get into honey supers etc.

If the immunity is only partial, then the hive may or may not get AFB. If it doesn't all good. If it does, beekeeper deals with it just like he always does. AFB is not going to "work it's way" into honey and gear from a hive with no AFB, any more than if the hive was not vaccinated.

At the moment we don't know that much about this vaccine, or just how effective it is. So much comments, including mine, are speculation.

But surely, anything that reduces the amount of hives that get AFB, and therefore the amount of hives that can pass it to other hives, must be a good thing?

When you get AFB, normally you get it because your bees have picked up honey from an infected/died out hive. The bees will store this honey. Yes you are right that the honey gets more contaminated when the hive has developed AFB. Probably when you suppress AFB with terramycin, the colony doesn't add spores to the honey either, but still develops AFB once the suppression fades.
 

Alastair

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When you get AFB, normally you get it because your bees have picked up honey from an infected/died out hive.

And that hive would not have become infected / died out, if it was immune. Meaning you would not have got AFB from it either. See my point?

Re robbed honey being stored, had the hive they robbed been immune, they would not have been able to rob infected honey from it in the first place. IE, you'll be safe if all the hives around you are immune. But beyond that, they store the robbed honey whether they are vaccinated or not. As robbing mostly occurs after the flow, when honey is harvested and AFB would not have had time to develop, the majority of the time this honey will be harvested with no way for the beekeeper to know there is contaminated honey, hive vaccinated or not vaccinated.
But in any case the hive not catching AFB and spreading it will reduce AFB far more than any increase of AFB caused by harvested contaminated honey from a vaccinated hive, because that would have most likely still happened if the hive was not vaccinated.

However. I can see this discussion has become circuitous, and as such you may have the last word I won't continue this. Might speak to someone else in the thread though Someone with a more scientific background than myself might be better to comment.
 
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There is still the great unknown of how effective the vaccine will be. We will only know after it has been widely tested in the field in the USA, hopefully the coming season.
Surely, the more AFB is prevented or suppressed the more the risk of spreading will be suppressed as well. Again: we can only wait and see. This is complicated business, really.
 
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In what way will it be different from using terramycin. My understanding is that we can't use terramycin because it can mask the presence of AFB and when we stop using it hives can come down with AFB. How will this vaccine be different? The difference would be that we don't get residues in honey.
Not so easy to answer this one, at least not for me :)... The question was also asked in a commercial-riddled podcast (AFB Vaccine for Honey Bees with Dr. Keith Delaplane (S5, E30)). What I distill from that is that there is expected to be less chance for the development of resistance.
 

LQB Apiary

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Also, some hives just have a natural immunity. I recall a case where I rented some hives to another commercial beekeeper. At seasons end I picked the hives up and returned them to my own site. The beekeeper told me they were all inspected for AFB, so (foolishly), I did not re inspect them.

Come first spring inspection, there was a dead one. I checked it and my heart sank, it was rotten with AFB, plus had been robbed. The hive next to it was touching it, and a steady stream of bees from that hive were walking in and out of the other hive, cleaning up the last of the honey and no doubt walking all over the AFB. So I checked that hive, but no AFB.

I mulled over whether I should burn it anyway, but decided no, I wanted to see what would happen. As the dead hive had been robbed I was expecting other hives to come down with AFB also, so put the whole site into quarantine and it stayed in quarantine 3 years. Over that time several other hives did come down with AFB, but the hive that had been walking in and out of the AFB deadout never got AFB. It was eventually taken out of quarantine but I left it marked so I could keep a special eye on it, and to this day it has stayed AFB free.
Did you breed from it or track that line? Wonder if that's what you meant by kept a special eye on it. Difficult to keep that trait going probably
 

Alastair

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No I didn't, for 2 reasons. The first is because of natural uncontrolled mating, these traits are quickly diluted. But the big one is that the only way to confirm if the resistant line you are trying to breed is actually resistant, is to test them with actual AFB. For me that would be illegal, plus if I decided to flout the law and do it anyway it would necessarily mean the loss of quite a few hives and I was not prepared to do that.

I have also seen over the years several people who have decided to attempt to breed an AFB resistant line, and every one of them has ended up losing many hives or all their hives to AFB, and either given up the experiment, or quit beekeeping altogether. After causing AFB infections to their innocent neighbours.

In my view this type of work should only be carried out by a suitably qualified person, preferably with a scientific background.
 

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........on an island far far away
1677767718531.png
...On the back of a yute

We all seem to think we scientists but damn good answer from Alistair. Really good.

I'm all for a good conspiracy. My Dad would say he was a member of the flat earth society especially after a beer or two at the pub. He'd be embarrassed to find out this idea has caught on...

I need to find the debate of random conspiracies thread here if I'm to continue in his stead
 
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No I didn't, for 2 reasons. The first is because of natural uncontrolled mating, these traits are quickly diluted. But the big one is that the only way to confirm if the resistant line you are trying to breed is actually resistant, is to test them with actual AFB. For me that would be illegal, plus if I decided to flout the law and do it anyway it would necessarily mean the loss of quite a few hives and I was not prepared to do that.

I have also seen over the years several people who have decided to attempt to breed an AFB resistant line, and every one of them has ended up losing many hives or all their hives to AFB, and either given up the experiment, or quit beekeeping altogether. After causing AFB infections to their innocent neighbours.

In my view this type of work should only be carried out by a suitably qualified person, preferably with a scientific background.
Alastair, you don't have to infect AFB. I think that the selection of bees on a hygienic basis will give results. Especially since you have the possibility of controlled mating
 

Alastair

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Alastair, you don't have to infect AFB. I think that the selection of bees on a hygienic basis will give results. Especially since you have the possibility of controlled mating

You may be right, but I don't think all the mechanisms of AFB resistance are fully understood, at least by me. Pretty sure there is more to it than just brood hygiene.

In any case the line of bees in that hive will be long diluted many times over. It's been a few years since I had a case of AFB and I am very happy to leave it that way.
 
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If queens can be 'immunised' feeding them dead P. larvae bacteria, does that mean that queens from AFB infected hives might be 'immune'? Not suggesting to isolate such queens and start a fresh colony, but it is an interesting thought, no?
 
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View attachment 1608
...On the back of a yute

We all seem to think we scientists but damn good answer from Alistair. Really good.

I'm all for a good conspiracy. My Dad would say he was a member of the flat earth society especially after a beer or two at the pub. He'd be embarrassed to find out this idea has caught on...

I need to find the debate of random conspiracies thread here if I'm to continue in his stead
19 Pilots Confirm FLAT EARTH
 
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There is still the great unknown of how effective the vaccine will be. We will only know after it has been widely tested in the field in the USA, hopefully the coming season.
Surely, the more AFB is prevented or suppressed the more the risk of spreading will be suppressed as well. Again: we can only wait and see. This is complicated business, really.
I don't think it is complicated. When a beekeeper gets a DECA they agree to be responsible for eliminating AFB from their beehives, therefore using the USA AFB vaccine would appear to be a DECA breach
 
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I don't think it is complicated. When a beekeeper gets a DECA they agree to be responsible for eliminating AFB from their beehives, therefore using the USA AFB vaccine would appear to be a DECA breach
Hi, you are right, the DECA comes with that obligation, also for non-DECA beekeepers. I did not promote the vaccine for use in NZ, in any case it has not been approved and we are still very far from that, if ever... And by 'complicated' I meant to say that it is not clear at all to what extent the vaccine would help prevent AFB from developing in a healthy, 'vaccinated' colony. The more I read and think about it, the more doubts I have.
And to clarify: the USA vaccine is not meant to be used in AFB infected hives, that would not make sense at all. It has been developed with the intention to reduce the chance for a healthy colony to develop AFB, by 'immunising' the queen when everything is still hunky dory..
 
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