Help me - questions about Foul Brood


Bill the Beekeeper:
Two summers ago, my father's two hives died away because he had a stroke and no one (I am guilty) took care of the hives.  They sat un-used until last winter, when I decided to start my own hives using some of his equipment, and purchasing whatever else I needed.
The equipment was badly damaged by wax moths, but seemed salvageable.  We vigorously scrapped and washed the hive boxes and the plastic frames.  We then soaked all in bleached water to disinfect.  Finally, my father took a blow torch and carefully used it on every inch of the hive boxes -- all wooden interior surfaces.
I then purchased all new plastic frames with wax coating - Rite-Cell - for both brood boxes.  However, for my supers I was planning to use the old plastic frames that we had scrapped and disinfected instead of buying new ones. I successfully installed two packaged bees a month ago.
Here in lies my dilemma.  My father told me a couple days ago that he thinks his old hives may have been wiped out by Foul Brood !  Previously, he only said that neglect and the wax moths were the downfall of the hives.  

Now I am really concerned.  I have read that if you suspect a Foul Brood problem then you should BURN all your equipment.  But my father isn't really sure, and never told me this before, so we really don't know.  

Should I purchase all new frames for my supers just be safe?  
Should I also burn or somehow destroy the old plastic frames?  
Should I buy new hive bodies immediately and replace the old super hive bodies plus the two that now contain my two hives?  
Should I contact my State Inspector and see if he can come out ASAP and take a look?  
Should I just monitor the hives and look for any signs of Foul Brood?
Help please.  I am about 10 days away from adding a super to each hive, so I need to purchase frames fast if necessary.
I really appreciate any advice you can give me.



You are doing the right thing by being concerened,  but just don't over react.

I assume since you are planning to add supers that the hives are healthy and have no visable sign of foulbrood.  If this is the case, I would treat them by dusting with terramycin and powdered sugar.

If you really want to be certain, there is now a test kit for AFB

There is no advantage to burning just some of your equipment.  If you do have it, ALL your equipment is contaminated.  Just remember, you can spread AFB from hive to hive with your hive tool.

Hi Bill,

I have to agree with Robo. It is to late to take any counter measures as far as your AFB troubles go, any bees that you transfere from an infected hive will also infect your new equipment. I wouldn’t be to stressed about AFB there are many reasons why bees die out, one is AFB but I would bet that  starvation would be a prime course of you original hives dying out. May be even queenlessness ( I think that’s a word). What I am really trying to say is be aware of AFB before placing any new equipment on as supers, but I wouldn’t let it keep you from having a good nights sleep.  Terramycin only masks AFB problems and whilst infected hives appear to recover from AFB, re infection occurs when treatment stops as the spores remain active for 30 years.




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