A way to combat CBPV?

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Erichalfbee 

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Somebody will be along to say all they did was requeen and their colony was saved but I like to listen to the science. In the end you can risk it but how much does a box of frames cost in comparison to a vibrant healthy colony?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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What are people's thoughts on reusing brood and super frames (with comb) from a colony that has had CBPV ?
Common sense and basic colony hygiene would say you should destroy any brood frames, I'd be happy to reuse the supers, unless they've been brooded.
 

Jules59 

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Thanks - my plan was to burn the brood frames, but wasn't sure about the supers.
 
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From some searching it seems the virus is heat-labile, although I've been unable to find what temperature is required to inactivate it.
CBPV seems to be mainly a disease of adult bees, although brood can be infected. I'm not sure how much logic there is in differentiating between brood and honey-storage frames.
I suspect boiling the frames would be fine. I haven't come across any reports of suspicion of transmission via wax eg bought foundation.
 

blackcloud 

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OK, some have asked me to set out the theory of the no floor method of dealing with CBPV.
Can I just state that this is not 'my' idea, just something that came up in discussion between a few RBI's and bee farmers when we were being put through the hoops for our DASH accreditation a few weeks ago.
I'm not going to go into great detail about the disease (Cos I'm not that erudite nor am I a scientist) but basically Chronic bee paralysis virus is an unclassified bipartite RNA virus transmitted through two main mechanisms. The first mechanism is viral transmission through bee faeces, which remains on the hive floor and can be picked up on the furry legs of other bees and ingested orally. The second mechanism is through close contact between bees in the hive. Worker bees are the most susceptible to infection, since they travel the hive most frequently. The infection may spread between hives as a result of indirect contact or direct contact between honey bee.
No 'cure' has been found for CBPV yet, no magic elixir or super drug.
One thing you should not do is what some bee farmers tried in desperation and ignorance of all the factors when it first flared up was to do what was labelled a 'vertical shook swarm' which was done by caging the queen, taking the colony away from the hive stand then shaking the workers off by throwing them in the air in the belief that all the infected bees would just fall to the floor and the healthy bees would return to the stand and a new clean hive with fresh frames and the queen.
This does not work as one of the symptoms of the virus is disorientation and loss of homing instinct, so all you got was a load of confused bees begging their way into any old hive and spreading the virus to other colonies.
OK. back to what you can do.
The virus seems to flare up when bees are overcrowded or under stress, so the first thing to do is try and give them more room so they are not so closely packed, thus reducing contact (Hmm, that sounds familiar) between individual bees.
Now this next method is something that it being unofficially trialled and monitored at the moment and it has given successful results in almost all cases.
CBPV is spread by contact from bees walking through infected bee faeces on the hive floor, and especially mandibular contact - the higher risk of this is when the mortuary bees have to carry virus infected dead bees out of the hive (and at its height there are a lot of corpses)
So let's remove the floor - this way there is no contact with infected faeces and no piles of corpses waiting to be carried out.
When all this was being explained to us the first thing we were told is 'forget your 'pallet hive stands folks' so
  • You need a 'proper' open railed hive stand about 12 to 18" high so any corpses fall well outside what the bees consider their 'indoors'
  • get/make an eke, doesn't really matter how deep, you could even use an empty shallow
  • you don't really need a proper entrance at the front of the hive, the hole in the floor will suffice, do away with any landing board [My contribution]
  • Put the eke on the stand instead of a hive floor
  • Take the brood box off its floor and put it on the eke - job done
Obviously there are other considerations, like the risk of robbing etc. with a strong(ish) colony, this shouldn't be an issue so it's up to the beekeeper to monitor and to consider the time of the year when it is done. Feedback so far was that even when there were wasps around, the bees coped.
Same goes for the timeframe, suck it and see - monitor and watch for improvement
as for other secure considerations, I'm sure peole are imaginative enough to work something out, just remember - you need a decent height below the brood frames so that the corpses fall well without what the bees consider the hive, I don't think enclosing the whole thing off down to the floor level is a particularly good idea as the bees may just consider tidying it up.
Collecting the dead bees and disposing them away from the colony is a good idea. the simplest and best dea I think would just be a sheet of polythene or an old fertilizer bag weighed down under the hive whick you can then just gather up and take away to shake the dead bees out onto your compost heap or whatever.
Worth making up a dedicated floor/stand /tray for this and be prepared
 

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I was wondering if it would be possible to make a kind of square funnel at 460 at the top reducing to say 50mm at the bottom. this would reduce the area the bees need to defend but still rid the hive of the dead bodies. ( these could be caught in a small container)
 

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I was wondering if it would be possible to make a kind of square funnel at 460 at the top reducing to say 50mm at the bottom. this would reduce the area the bees need to defend but still rid the hive of the dead bodies. ( these could be caught in a small container)
As long as no-one could crawl around in there and back up into the hive.

Ive seen live bees messing around with dead ones-possibly stripping the carcass of pollen?

The hopper idea appeals though.

But could you not just pin a bin bag open halfway down the stand.
 
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I was wondering if it would be possible to make a kind of square funnel at 460 at the top reducing to say 50mm at the bottom. this would reduce the area the bees need to defend but still rid the hive of the dead bodies. ( these could be caught in a small container)
I had wondered much the same, so far a problem I don't have to face!
 

Erichalfbee 

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Well thank heavens for this.
Well done Maggie
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Well thank heavens for this.
Well done Maggie
Yup, I think that the consensus is that this is the way to go, she was at that meeting as well, and obviously listened to my rants a little while ago about the shook swarm obsession.
 

BrumB 

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Somebody will be along to say all they did was requeen and their colony was saved but I like to listen to the science. In the end you can risk it but how much does a box of frames cost in comparison to a vibrant healthy colony?
The original queens are still going strong in the colonies that were showing signs of CBPV last year...
 

BrumB 

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Yup, I think that the consensus is that this is the way to go, she was at that meeting as well, and obviously listened to my rants a little while ago about the shook swarm obsession.
In high density colony areas I think this could lead to it spreading rather than dealing with it. It's a risky strategy leaving hives weakened wide open for robbing 🙈
 

Erichalfbee 

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I had to deal with mine in September and they didn't get robbed out. I didn't wait till the colony was weakened though.
In high density apiaries, yes removing the colony seems more sensible. I've only ever had it in one colony at a time.
 

BrumB 

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I had to deal with mine in September and they didn't get robbed out. I didn't wait till the colony was weakened though.
In high density apiaries, yes removing the colony seems more sensible. I've only ever had it in one colony at a time.
Where about are you I don't mean on an apiary level I mean area level eg there are easily100 hives or more in a 2 mile radius of my home apiary in brum
 

Erichalfbee 

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Where about are you I don't mean on an apiary level I mean area level eg there are easily100 hives or more in a 2 mile radius of my home apiary in brum
Not that many
I have 9 hives in a line.
83 apiaries in a 10 k radius.
Within I k I know of at least 10 apiaries. And here we are in rural Wales . Stuffed with incomers seeking the “Good Life”
 

Newbeeneil 

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Not that many
I have 9 hives in a line.
83 apiaries in a 10 k radius.
Within I k I know of at least 10 apiaries. And here we are in rural Wales . Stuffed with incomers seeking the “Good Life”
Wasn't that you a few years ago Dani? 😀
 

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