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Oxytetracycline Hydrochloride (OTC), in Australian honey

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What is Oxytetracycline Hydrochloride (OTC) used for in Australian beekeeping?

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European Foulbrood. So there's antibiotics in Ozzy Jellybush honey eh ? 

Edited by yesbut

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Agh! Should have thought! Yes I guess it must have huh! ?

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Long may we not have to do that! 

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I wonder what is used in the USA? Canada too I guess?

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7 minutes ago, Ali said:

I wonder what is used in the USA? Canada too I guess?

The same is used or was used in Canada the same in the U.S.A.

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I just hope we do not use it here when or if efb arrives.

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10 hours ago, Bighands said:

I just hope we do not use it here when or if efb arrives.

How is EFB different in the hive than AFB 

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2 hours ago, kaihoka said:

How is EFB different in the hive than AFB 

AFB is very hard to spread, you need to tranfer infected hoeny or hive gear with the infection not really being carried by workers. With EFB it is carried by workers to the point where (i belive) it will infect a water souce by a bee drinking from it and any bees that drink from it afterward will carry thr disease back to their hive infecting it.

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4 hours ago, Kiwifruiter said:

AFB is very hard to spread, you need to tranfer infected hoeny or hive gear with the infection not really being carried by workers. With EFB it is carried by workers to the point where (i belive) it will infect a water souce by a bee drinking from it and any bees that drink from it afterward will carry thr disease back to their hive infecting it.

Wow scary stuff, thank God it's not here .

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Just now, kaihoka said:

Wow scary stuff, thank God it's not here .

Yet

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EFB is highly infectious and very quickly spreads to every hive. There is a genetic component and over time you can breed for resistance. It actually starves the infected brood to death by consuming the food itself before the bee can use it. Another difference from AFB is that if a bee gets a subclinical dose of AFB it does not become a carrier whereas with EFB every bee that survives will spread the disease for the rest of its life. One of the problems is that if it showed up at the height of the honey season then it would quite likely be symptomless as the bees would have plenty of nutrition and it wouldn't be till things slow down in autumn or spring hives under stress that you would see symptoms by which time it has spread far and wide. The chances of stopping it, if it gets here are pretty close to zero so really our only hope lies in keeping it out in the first place. There is debate internationally about how widespread it is within the general hive population but I personally believe  like chalk brood and Nosema, every hive is infected but some are more susceptible and all hives can break down if conditions get bad enough.

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EFB is a funny one, while it can be devastating at certain times in certain places. It requires susceptible bees to come under stress in particular environments for EFB to become a problem, and it can be a big problem with OTC seen by beekeepers as the only way to save colonies with severe clinical symptoms.  In less severe cases, just  getting them out of the environment that is causing the stress(like the pollination of Blueberries), or simply requeening can see the clinical symptoms of EFB disappear.   John is right- breeding for resistance is very effective(same for AFB).  Carniolans are already virtually EFB proof(a blatant plug on my part, but true).  The point I am making is- even if EFB makes it to NZ, we don't have to resort to antibiotics to control it.  My theory is that EFB doesn't like NZ- it had plenty of opportunity to get here in the past, and in theory it should have been much easier for EFB to get here, then it was for AFB.  

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Like David I am amazed we haven't got EFB already, our border controls have been pretty successful at keeping out rogue elephants and hippopotamus but anything smaller than that seems to be getting In without too much trouble and EFB is really small.
David, I am interested in your comment on breeding for AFB resistance. There never seems to have been much enthusiasm for this in New Zealand but I have always wondered whether it was possible and assume that breeding for hygienic behaviour must lower your AFB risk at least a little bit. AFB resistance would be one study I wouldn't be too keen on taking part in but I would be happy to donate some hives to such a study.

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I wonder how much the cross breeding of Carniolan and Italian (as seems pretty common) provides protection (if any) from EFB?

It certainly seems to be something we should be working on to future proof the industry as it would seem the arrival of EFB is only a matter of time.

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3 hours ago, john berry said:

I am interested in your comment on breeding for AFB resistance.

It's illegal isn't it. Any sign of AFB, up in flames it goes. The two philosophies are incompatible.

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Lots of New Zealand queens go overseas where they could be fairly easily and cheaply monitored for EFB resistance. This is something I advocated for  years but got little support. I'm not sure with AFB but I think they 'select for resistance using hygienic behaviour i.e. you kill some brood and see how long they take to clean it out. Whether you could actually breed bees that are less susceptible to the disease itself I don't know but it is possible to get permits for AFB research. I suppose you could always start with the survivors from one of those 90% plus outbreaks that occur occasionally

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I guess if antibiotic use has become part of a beeks business as usual then interest sort of wanes some. We are fortunate to not be in that position currently. I have played with the hygenic behaviour of some hives with a view to which Queen to raise a few more from but really haven't followed through as I should have. Something for the new season for me.

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We need to heavily market the fact our real deal Manuka honey does NOT contain antibiotics. 

Edited by Stoney
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1 hour ago, Stoney said:

We need to heavily market the fact our real deal Manuka honey does NOT contain antibiotics. 

We need to market that ALL our honey doesn’t have antibiotics. It’s a great selling point.

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14 hours ago, john berry said:

Like David I am amazed we haven't got EFB already, our border controls have been pretty successful at keeping out rogue elephants and hippopotamus but anything smaller than that seems to be getting In without too much trouble and EFB is really small.
David, I am interested in your comment on breeding for AFB resistance. There never seems to have been much enthusiasm for this in New Zealand but I have always wondered whether it was possible and assume that breeding for hygienic behaviour must lower your AFB risk at least a little bit. AFB resistance would be one study I wouldn't be too keen on taking part in but I would be happy to donate some hives to such a study.

John , you are right about the apparent lack of enthusiasm for breeding for  increased resistance to AFB.  Seems crazy that we have a PMS with the stated goal of eradicating AFB, and no part of that strategy involves stock improvement.  My belief is that an AFB problem requires both bad beekeeping and bad bees.   If you have vigorous, hygienic bees, you will never have an AFB problem.  In the 1970's, I idolised an American Bee researcher named Steve Taber.  I only knew him through his contributions to the American Bee Journal, and he seemed a bit of a rough rebel who believed the answer to controlling AFB wasn't dusting OTC and icing sugar across the top bars of the brood box every time you worked a hive, but was instead breeding for resistance.  I went to work for him in 1984, and didn't last long because I found him to be nothing like the man I had built him up to be.  But, he did convince me that that selecting for hygienic behaviour was the answer to  AFB. I had read that in his hygienic stock he could stick a frame rotten with AFB into one of those colonies, and they would clean it out , and raise 100% healthy brood over it straight away.  It seemed impossible to me, but while I was there, I did it, and he was right- every since then Hygienic testing has been my major selection criteria.  I never use a breeder that isn't 100% hygienic using the 24 hour pin-killed brood test.  With hand on heart, touching wood, in the more than 30 years since, I have never had a case of AFB in my outfit. Hygienic Behaviour Testing is easy, but it has to be a Selection Criteria that is used in a Breeding Model that guards against inbreeding, or in other words- maximises variation in your breeding population.  Basically you are killing areas of capped brood, and you can do this using the pin-killed brood method, or by using liquid nitrogen.  I find the pin-killed brood method gives me more control. It is essential that when we are doing the test that we kill brood that is all exactly the same age, if we want to achieve a meaningful result.  For AFB resistance, it is best if we are killing brood at the pre-pupal stage because this is when the brood usually succumb to AFB.  With liquid nitrogen it is hard to stay age specific.  Basically, you kill the brood, put it back, check exactly 24hours, and record the result.  I am not interested unless 100% of that brood has been uncapped, and totally removed in less than 24 hours.  See image attached- I went overboard with this test, but you can get creative, usually I just use at least 15 of the 7 celled circular patterns you see in the image.

IMG_1728.JPG

Edited by David Yanke
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The other night we went to a meeting about Mycoplasma Bovis. It was all very interesting and informative, but the main thought I came home home with was that the rest of the world has it and lives with it, the dairy industry has known about it for a long time and it should have been on a watch list, not so much about how to deal with the problem if it ever got here, but what the official strategy is to  when it has arrived, both physicaly and financially. We always seem to be closing the door after the horse has gone.

The bee industry can sit back and watch and take note.

We know EFB is lurking beyond the border and history tells us that it may well arrive. It would therefore make sense to me to start getting prepared . As an industry do we have a plan in place, and on a more local level, as bee keepers, what is our strategy going to be ..... and will David Yanke be able to supply the market with his Carniolans ?

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