"High-risk beekeeping operation" - take 2...

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@tommy dave we hadn’t found afb either as hobby beekeepers. Then we found 2 cells in a pumping hive that looked like it was as healthy as. Early spring. If you ain’t looking you won’t find it. If you know what is right it’s a damn sight easier to spot what isn’t.
I'm considering doing the afb course as a hobbyist... not so can sign of coi but so im a step close to being semi competent.

I dont like bureaucracy but where my mistakes might affect peoples livelihood it's possible that attending an afb course should be mandatory for a bee keeper after they've had a hive for 1-2 years. Enough time that they ghve begun to know what a hive looks like but before they get slack or too many hives that can affect others.
 

Mummzie

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I've never found AFB, which means in some ways that i've got no idea whether i'm any good at finding it or not. It feels as though there are issues in a system where people like me can sign-off on COIs, and don't need external inspections -
I so agree.
I'm scared I'm willfully not seeing it- and there is no opportunity to get feedback.
Even the Deca training and refresher courses only supplied pictures of what we are to look for.
 
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i want to do the exact opposite of blowing my own trumpet.

I'm a generic hobbyist beekeeper, been doing it a little while, have a DECA, do the occasional COI check/sign-off for people I know.

I've never found AFB, which means in some ways that i've got no idea whether i'm any good at finding it or not. It feels as though there are issues in a system where people like me can sign-off on COIs, and don't need external inspections - but similarly, given that none of my hives, or those that i've inspected, have subsequently ended up riddled with afb, maybe it's ok? (before people get too stressed - i inspect brood frames almost every time I open a hive, i tend to open a bunch of brood cells each time and expose some poor just capped larvae or assist an emerging bee, etc. But...)
I had the same worries, then I found a case of AFB. @daley told me a few years ago not to worry as long as you’re looking you’ll find it if it’s there. she was right.
 
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I so agree.
I'm scared I'm willfully not seeing it- and there is no opportunity to get feedback.
Even the Deca training and refresher courses only supplied pictures of what we are to look for.
I agree, the pics aren’t necessarily what afb looks like. although i was told they are going to add a gallery feature so beeks can send in other pics. Here’s my afb find, not like anything I’ve seen in refresher courses or the online tools. The infected cell has the pin prick hole.
 

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agree, the pics aren’t necessarily what afb looks like. although i was told they are going to add a gallery feature so beeks can send in other pics. Here’s my afb find, not like anything I’ve seen in refresher courses or the online tools.
There is a gallery of pictures in the Afb website. As a DECA holder I must be able to identify it at this early stage.
I believe A problem we have is many DECA holders can only diagnose rotten Afb, not at early stages.... and another problem some DECA holders don’t ever look for the Afb signs....
 

Grant

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There is a gallery of pictures in the Afb website. As a DECA holder I must be able to identify it at this early stage.
There is a document download and a link to the section you reference in our resources section. Feel free to add additional resources as needed

 
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I agree, the pics aren’t necessarily what afb looks like. although i was told they are going to add a gallery feature so beeks can send in other pics. Here’s my afb find, not like anything I’ve seen in refresher courses or the online tools. The infected cell has the pin prick hole.
Looks like a nice frame of brood, eh ..... but those micro processors Oculus Oculus will scan that frame in a fraction of s second and pick up the very slight imperfection.... and thsts probably where xperience comes in .... becoming very familiar withthe norm ... so that the slightest abnormal becomes a point of interest.
 

NickWallingford

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Looks like a nice frame of brood, eh ..... but those micro processors Oculus Oculus will scan that frame in a fraction of s second and pick up the very slight imperfection.... and thsts probably where xperience comes in .... becoming very familiar withthe norm ... so that the slightest abnormal becomes a point of interest.
There's a lot of difference between looking at a frame with brood and looking at a frame with brood...
 

tommy dave

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Looks like a nice frame of brood, eh ..... but those micro processors Oculus Oculus will scan that frame in a fraction of s second and pick up the very slight imperfection.... and thsts probably where xperience comes in .... becoming very familiar withthe norm ... so that the slightest abnormal becomes a point of interest.
had the complete opposite to nice frames of brood today. A friend is moving into a place this week, comes with a beehive. Apparently the arrangement at the place was that a hive had been given to the occupants by someone who was going to manage it and bill for the hours it took. Hadn't been opened for quite a while, the occupants rang the 'hive manager' a month or so back to ask what was going on and got told "you can have the hive if you want". Anyway... my friend asked if i could come take a look.

The hive was a mess, box and a half of stores, so no issue on that front. Riddled with pms, makes sense given that it it was last treated in spring. Plenty of suspect looking cells obviously. And that's where it gets complicated, i opened up a hundred or so brood cells - none were healthy. But I'm fairly sure it's all varroa related - there were plenty of them in the cells I opened and on bees in the hive. Bees dying as they were emerging, dead in cells but solid/complete pupae. Some pretty ugly looking larvae, none roped out.

So... the entrance is much reduced, there are enough bees to defend it, there are now varroa strips in, and I've promised to keep an eye on it.

I'm basically following this advice from the afb page Inspecting frames | The Management Agency, National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan New Zealand:
"The best way to deal with a hive that has a very large number of cells with perforated cappings, but does not appear to have AFB, is to mark the hive and remove nothing from it. The next step is to eliminate the major cause of the chewed cappings, by requeening (for sacbrood or chalkbrood), or treating the varroa (for PMS). The colony can then be checked for AFB"

Thoughts?

edit: the friend moving into the place has some experience with bees, has registered the hive/site, and wants to follow the rules - including doing what needs to be done if afb is confirmed
 
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had the complete opposite to nice frames of brood today. A friend is moving into a place this week, comes with a beehive. Apparently the arrangement at the place was that a hive had been given to the occupants by someone who was going to manage it and bill for the hours it took. Hadn't been opened for quite a while, the occupants rang the 'hive manager' a month or so back to ask what was going on and got told "you can have the hive if you want". Anyway... my friend asked if i could come take a look.

The hive was a mess, box and a half of stores, so no issue on that front. Riddled with pms, makes sense given that it it was last treated in spring. Plenty of suspect looking cells obviously. And that's where it gets complicated, i opened up a hundred or so brood cells - none were healthy. But I'm fairly sure it's all varroa related - there were plenty of them in the cells I opened and on bees in the hive. Bees dying as they were emerging, dead in cells but solid/complete pupae. Some pretty ugly looking larvae, none roped out.

So... the entrance is much reduced, there are enough bees to defend it, there are now varroa strips in, and I've promised to keep an eye on it.

I'm basically following this advice from the afb page Inspecting frames | The Management Agency, National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan New Zealand:
"The best way to deal with a hive that has a very large number of cells with perforated cappings, but does not appear to have AFB, is to mark the hive and remove nothing from it. The next step is to eliminate the major cause of the chewed cappings, by requeening (for sacbrood or chalkbrood), or treating the varroa (for PMS). The colony can then be checked for AFB"

Thoughts?

edit: the friend moving into the place has some experience with bees, has registered the hive/site, and wants to follow the rules - including doing what needs to be done if afb is confirmed
Yup.. if not past the point of no return.. then clear up the crawly issue then give her a thorough foul brood inspection..
 


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