Swarm problems

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user 382

House Bee
Dec 6, 2008
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OK, so this isn't a question, but following on from the thread on charging for swarm removal, I thought I'd point out one of the problems of collecting swarms - diseases!

A fellow beek told me about his experience last year when he collected several swarms. All went well and each swarm he collected built up well. He even supplied 'surplus' bees to a bee farmer who was making up nucs for sale. Then in the autumn one colony started to look rather sickly. A more experienced beek called in the regional bee inspector and a sample was duly sent off for AFB and EFB tests. He then spent a few agonizing weeks waiting for the results, during which time he couldn't move any of his colonies and he had to inform a none too happy bee farmer of the potential problem. Fortunately, the AFB/EFB tests came back negative, but he was still advised to destroy the colony, which he did. He has since taken his name off of any swarm collection lists.

I think the moral of his story is that you should always quarantine any swarms you collect and keep an eye out for potential problems. Then if you do suspect any disease problems, contact your regional or seasonal bee inspector ASAP.
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Sounds sensible to quarantine them. How far way from the apiary is far enough?
Suppose that's the point. It the swarm had EFB or AFB you could end up losing all your bees.:)
Do many hives swarm though if they have EFB or AFB ?
I didn't say this.

Shook swarm kept in confinement until 10% die, = "disease free" AFB + EFB which takes some 48 hours... ah well yes the same organisation (DEFRA) miss diagonised Foot and Mouth.....

Old German trick.

So our burn policy is sensible?
It has been researched that AFB does not transform with swarms.
That is why you may clean the hive via false swarm.

EFB and chalkbrood you get rid off when you change the queen.

Nosema may spoil the queen and it is not able to lay normally.

Swarm may get the disease when it rob the sick colony.

Swarms are good. No problem. Swarm queens may be what ever.
What was wrong with them then?

I don't know. When I spoke to him last he had just put the whole brood box in the freezer to kill the colony off. I'll find out if he had any further tests performed and report back.

I have collected a few swarms,and have not come across any with a disease problem yet. Interesting that they now takes several weeks to let anyone know if there is a problem with AFB/EFB, they used to only take a couple of days.Did the bee inspector not have the test tube reactors that give an instant result, athough both of these diseases can be spotted quite easily.
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as i said in my reply , i always collect and requeen and shift them on alway , i have never kept a swarm longer than two weeks and never near my bee hive at least a 1km away, in brum i stash them down by the canal tow path in a over ground high bank they are well out of the way of ever one, what i want are my bee's and my breeding set ups , i do not want someones mistakes or piosoned chaliss , brother adam had the right idea , breed bees to be gentle and productive. if we stopped using poor quality cast offs maybe we would all be better off

swarms are great for other people to use and some make alot of money from them but not me thanks
So do you requeen them straight away,then give them away all within two weeks. Do you breed the the queens or buy them in.Also does this mean you don't consider them good enough to keep yourself, before even giving them a chance to prove themselves, but good enough for someone else.
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