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“In this video, we’ll delve into identifying and managing the most severe honey bee bacterial disease, American Foulbrood, also known as AFB.

AFB is a highly contagious disease caused by a spore-forming bacterium. Let’s understand why it’s considered so devastating.

AFB spores are extremely resilient, surviving under diverse conditions for decades. This makes eradicating infections challenging.

AFB spreads easily from hive to hive, driven by factors like robbing, infected equipment interchange, and contaminated honey and pollen consumption.

AFB spores infect young bee larvae through contaminated food. The disease rapidly spreads within the colony as nurse bees move from cell to cell during feeding.

Let’s discuss the clinical signs of AFB, which evolve with the disease’s progression.
These signs include a spotty brood pattern, sunken and perforated cell cappings, brown gooey larvae, larval scales, and a foul odor.

Detecting AFB involves regular inspections of the brood nest.  In labs, AFB can be identified through microscopic analysis, cultures, or molecular techniques. In the field, common tests like commercial diagnostic kits, match stick tests, and milk tests are used.

One easy method is using a commercial Diagnostic Kit, much like a pregnancy test. Positive results indicate AFB presence.

The match stick test involves piercing cell cappings and observing how infected larvae behave. Ropiness is a unique characteristic of AFB-infected larvae.

If AFB is detected, swift action is vital. Dispose of contaminated equipment properly by burning, and following biosecurity protocols.

Preventing AFB requires maintaining strong colonies, following biosecurity protocols, and using disease-resistant genetic stocks.

It’s important to note that antibiotics merely suppress the bacteria and do not fully eradicate it. In the face of this disease, the most ethical and effective approach is to destroy all infected bees and equipment using controlled measures.

By identifying and managing American Foulbrood early, we can protect our honey bee colonies and contribute to a healthier ecosystem.”

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