Good morning all! Seeking help from the experienced beekeepers out there. I am a first-time beekeeper out in Colombia and I am worried that my nucs may have had American Foul Brood when they arrived which is now contaminating my hives. The problem I am running into is that Colombia doesn’t seem to have joined any global apiculture initiative to report diseases and none of the scientific literature coming out of the universities here has found evidence of AFB. In fact, they seem to claim that although many other South American countries do have the disease the bees here are better and somehow it isn’t a problem. I also haven’t been able to contact the national universities bee-keeping lab to determine if they can test for AFB and Amazon doesn’t ship the AFB test-kits here to colombia. Similarly, I doubt that I will be able to find a radiation service to irradiate my flow hive if I do have this disease. Also, when talking to the local beekeepers none of them seem to know anything about European or American Foul brood. It’s seems like they are just closing their eyes to the problem in general.
I was displeased when the nucs arrived because both showed a very spotty brood pattern and the combs were quite old and dark. At the time, I assumed that maybe we had been given some old frames with old or poorly mated queens but now I fear it may be AFB.
The signs that I have observed are:
- some perforated cell cappings (but generally the bees appear fine beneath them)
- dark cell cappings (rather than gold colored ones that you find in photos of “healthy brood pattern”
- coffee colored larvae (only a few)
- what appears to be melted blackened larvae in the bottom of some cells
- horrible smell from the blackened goo when probed with food pick
- some partially formed bees which had been uncapped and showed signs of a protruding tongue
However, I couldn’t find a single cell that actually roped out when removing the food pick from the cells. Additionally, there appear to be eggs in the bottom of cells (even those that look like they may have AFB scale) which I read that the queen will not lay in if infected. Attached are some photos.