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  Wednesday, 01 February 2017
  5 Replies
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So... if a detection of AFB in a colony is, say with in a mile or so from my yard and I'm notified of the case by the state inspector what do I do, sit and pray it doesn't spread into my yard?
What if I want to treat prophylacticly? Do I have to call a vet to see if they will grant me a script even if they don't determine I have an active case of AFB?
Now everyone within the effected area either prays real hard they don't get infected or they call on a vet.
Seems to me we all need to be proactive in prophylacticly treating to minimize the spread. Yes?
5 years ago
Have you tried to get antibiotics in the past 5-6 years ?
I thinking everyone is aware of the over use of antibiotics and what the consequences are.
I'm not advocating the use in Terramycin in every apiary within a 5 mile radius of a known case of AFB, but if you were to call a vet out and have a confirmed case you could start a prophylactic treatment.
Your going to have to have a confirmed case now in order to get a script first of all, right?
The number of cases we're seeing here in VT are very low. From David's report at the winter meeting it doesn't sound like the disease spread beyond those effected case's. I think we're in pretty good shape, education and awareness of our BK's has been key.
More education, sure but
I think hands on experience is probably the best way to learn.
The over use of antibiotics by the pork industry as well as poultry and beef is how this new law
Came to be ,in making this law it included food coming from animals treated with antibiotics
USDA said honey was a food so Honey Bees where added to the law.

VBA is a good start to education but we need more advanced education classes.
What would also help in education would be if we could get a local bee club in
Every county.
To also get a Bee Lab back in UVM .
Also get Bee specialist back in the Vermont Extension Services .
I feel we have a large void in our Bee Educational Program .
5 years ago
I wasn't clear I guess. I didn't mean to say your statement was the cause of the legislation but rather that overuse of antibiotics generally was the cause of the legislation.
Prophylactically treating hives with antibiotics whether it is needed or not, that is, whether the disease is present or not, can't be good. It cost money, may breed resistant bacteria and contaminates honey for human consumption. I think the legislation is aimed at antibiotic use in agriculture generally, not only apiculture and yes I believe there have been studies that show that ongoing use of antibiotics generally breeds strains of bacteria that are harder to kill. Just ask any hospital nurse about MRSA, for instance. Does it make sense to treat my hives prophylactically if AFB has been detected within x miles of my hives? I honestly don't know and because I don't know I think I owe it to my bees to try to learn as much as I can about such threats. And yeah, I agree that beekeepers have been thrown into a general pool of antibiotic users. But I think the key to continuing the improvement of bee health that your illustrations clearly show is to increase the effort to educate beekeepers in how to avoid spread of disease through proper management practices and increased understanding of bee biology. That probably includes the use of antibiotics but I think the ideal situation would be to have available an educational system where a beekeeper could learn about best practices from sources that are backed up by sound science. This web site and the VBA is a step in that direction but I'd like to see more effort put into education and research that is based on real science.
5 years ago
I wonder if we've been thrown into a general pool of antibiotic users.
Is there a study of the adverse effects of antibiotics on honey bees?
Terramycin has been used for decades so you would think there might be a study... right?
Not so sure my statement of the use of an antibiotic brought on this new legislation. Maybe we should look into why this all came about.
So Steven if your understanding is to burn a hive is the only way to eradicate AFB then we don't need this legislation... right?
I think we've come a long way in limiting the spread of AFB in the last 35+ years.
Point in case in 1982 here in VT we had a report of the last 11 years


5 years ago
It will be interesting to see how the State handles this. The way I understand using antibiotics is that you increase the danger of creating a resistant strain of the bacteria if you treat without really needing to. So your statement that we should all be treating prophylactically is exactly why the new legislation requiring a vet prescription was enacted. I realize you may have meant that those notified should treat prophylactically but over use of antibiotics is a problem. From what I understand the only effective treatment for AFB is burning your hives. I don't know exactly what the requirements are for the Inspector to notify surrounding apiaries but after realizing that the State inspection system is way under staffed ( I think David said at the Winter meeting that they inspected 10% of the hives in Vermont last year) I think this points to the need for beekeepers to be very educated on how to recognize this disease. Mike Palmer suggested that a bee lab in Vermont might be useful. It's really too bad that we now have to pay a Vet to get a prescription for Terramycin. For someone with a couple of hives this might be very costly. What I'd like to see is some training made available where beekeepers could learn about the various diseases and get certified to apply antibiotics in a way that was appropriate for their situation. They do this for pesticide application on fruit trees. Why not antibiotics on bees? There needs to be education on how to differentiate between AFB and EFB and other diseases and what to do if disease is detected. I believe there is a test that can detect AFB in a hive. It works kinda like litmus paper where you grind up some bees, put the liquid on a strip of paper and there's a chemical indicator that shows whether the antibodies for AFB are present.
http://articles.extension.org/pages/21718/diagnostic-kits-for-american-and-european-foulbrood Now THAT would be a great tool for beekeepers and a great way to spend some of that excess VBA funds.
Right now you can send a suspect comb to Beltsville Md. for free but a quicker turn around time on lab results would help a lot.
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