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Thread: If AFB is identified ... ?

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    Default If AFB is identified ... ?

    Teaching a lively bunch of beginners who yesterday asked these two questions about AFB:
    • if a rope test confirms to a beekeeper that AFB is present, couldn't they simply close the hive and burn everything straight away, before the inspector visits (but not to exclude notification)?
    • if the infected bees are in a polyhive, is that burned? There are pollution issues with burning the material.

    I'll copy these questions to Steve Sunderland but I wondered if any of you folk have experience of these issues and/or views on the responses.

    Re first question I guess the inspectorate may wish to take DNA samples and to supervise the destruction of the colonies/equipment.

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    Some dead larvae will rope a bit when not killed by afb, so best to get it confirmed.
    Poly equipment gets sterilised in a strong bleach or lie solution, can't remember which, this is in England and Wales anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kate Atchley View Post
    Teaching a lively bunch of beginners who yesterday asked these two questions about AFB:
    • if a rope test confirms to a beekeeper that AFB is present, couldn't they simply close the hive and burn everything straight away, before the inspector visits (but not to exclude notification)?
    • if the infected bees are in a polyhive, is that burned? There are pollution issues with burning the material.

    I'll copy these questions to Steve Sunderland but I wondered if any of you folk have experience of these issues and/or views on the responses.

    Re first question I guess the inspectorate may wish to take DNA samples and to supervise the destruction of the colonies/equipment.
    Having had first hand experience:
    1. Yes they usually do a DNA test - to identify or not the source.
    2. Trouble is with AFB the longer you have had it in one hive, the greater the chances of other hives being infected. So A BI would want to see how old the infection is. The older the infection, the more scaled cells etc.
    3. Bee Disease Insurance ONLY pays out on the report of the BI as to how many frames/crownboards/QEs etc burned. And there is a sliding scale of reimbursement depending upon the BI's assessment of condition, (New vs old and manky...etc). (Does Scotland have Bee Disease Insurance? I don't know). So DIY burning = NO insurance payout.
    4. You'll get a standstill order anyway.. and the BI will want to personally flame your wooden hive interiors etc.

    |Best advice is to close up the hive and prevent foraging/robbing.and wait for the BI.


    A polyhive is not burned.. All the frames/crownboards etc are burned but the hive itself is immersed TOTALLY in a great big vat of Bleach solution for 20 minutes maximum after removal of all wax and propolis deposits using soda crystal solution. .. this means TOTAL immersion so a BIG container required..

    http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/downl...ent.cfm?id=423

    Edit:

    Once one hive is infected, the BI will inspect all others on the same site. Shaking all bees off comb by comb and inspecting every cell...(obviously honey cells which are capped are scanned and then ignored).
    Last edited by madasafish; 02-05-2016 at 06:14 PM.

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    I hear in Ireland if you have the problem confirmed just ring the dept Vet tell him you have confirmed AFB and have burned the hive and he/she will take your word for it as they do not get paid for visiting apiarys, can anyone else in Ireland confirm this,

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    RoI does not have a functional bee inspectorate but given the amount of time they have for inane bureaucracy I doubt they would take someone's word on anything.
    In the North the bee inspector would want a piece of comb for lab testing. They may allow something similar in RoI.
    Ruary Rudd will know.

  6. #6

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    From talks given by the bee inspector afb would only be confirmed with a lateral flow device. He/She may also send away for analysis.

    Would it not be presumptuous of any non-qualified beekeeper (i.e someone who has not passed the bee inspector's exam) to confirm afb?
    I was taught only a bee inspector can do that. The responsibility of the beekeeper is to report their findings and suspicions to the bee inspector and then self impose an apiary standstill (+ reduce entrance and close up the hive at dusk).

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    AFB is a notifiable disease so you are obliged to contact the authorities. They will want to confirm it with lab tests (in Scotland, even if there was a rope test and clear-cut lateral flow device test in the field by inspectors) and also likely do a DNA test to understand the outbreak better. There will then be a focus on tracing contacts, particularly the source of bees and equipment but also looking at other apiaries in the area.

    If you destroy in advance of a visit you will prevent the confirmation of the disease and I'm pretty sure you will be acting outside the regulations. AFB doesn't spread rapidly from colony to colony and the inspectorate will likely arrive within a few days so you gain little by not waiting.

    And what that man said ^ (just reading it now).
    Last edited by gavin; 03-05-2016 at 11:17 AM.

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    Thanks Gavin et al for your observations. I agree all round (is this a first?!) yet felt the questions deserved an airing as AFB follow-through is seldom discussed.

    As I explained to the newcomer, it's imperative to comply with the notification regulations. Given the AFB had taken a few weeks to become well established waiting a day or two more was not material and would enable lab confirmation and DNA sampling.

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    Agreement in a beekeeping thread? I've seen it all now

    Don't really have anything constructive to add that hasn't already been said around taking matters into your own hands and destroying the colonies. But, while circumstances may be different in Scotland, we've always found that the local bee inspectors will generally come to an organised "bee health" session run at county level. i.e. where there will be a good number of people present and will not only run through the various processes but have bought samples to demonstrate EFB, AFB, nosema etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neils View Post
    Agreement in a beekeeping thread? I've seen it all now

    Don't really have anything constructive to add that hasn't already been said around taking matters into your own hands and destroying the colonies. But, while circumstances may be different in Scotland, we've always found that the local bee inspectors will generally come to an organised "bee health" session run at county level. i.e. where there will be a good number of people present and will not only run through the various processes but have bought samples to demonstrate EFB, AFB, nosema etc.
    Some of my TBH frames served as examples of AFB last year for the Inspectorate:-(

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