I am not sure about that jeff- as I understand it- and from what I have seen- AFB can attack a brand new hive with brand new fresh frames- all new equipment. My friend who runs 90 hives in Sydney also replaces all her brood frames every 3 years or less- taking out 3 to 5 frames every spring and replacing with fresh foundation. She also runs a total barrier system where no frames are moved from one hive to another. She doesn’t donate brood, and she keeps all super frames separate during extraction- frames only go back to the hive they came from. She does all of that extra work to minimise any potential spreading of AFB throughout her apiaries.Yet she still gets AFB- one or two cases a year on average. She also encounters many more cases helping amateur beekeepers. The hives I mentioned above were another persons flow hives: brand new, only two seasons old and got AFB. Those hives were beautifully maintained- with the best equipment used. They were however in a known AFB zone…
and @Buzzing-bees you seem to be suggesting that you can treat a hive with AFB by removing and replacing some of the brood frames? If so I am pretty sure that is not correct. A hive with AFB starts to decline- if you removed brood- there is no way they could even draw out fresh frames let alone recover. I am pretty sure the reason that AFB is a notifiable disease, and the remedy is destruction of the hive- is because that is the only way to correctly deal with it. I am pretty sure what you are suggesting is actually against the bio security rules? There is no way PIRSA in SA would ever accept such a strategy.
I do believe replacing old brood frames every season is a very good idea, cycling out at least a third of the frames- it makes the bees more productive and helps reduce the chances of diseases and pests like chalk brood and wax moth. It’s also important for swarm prevention in spring to weaken hives that are too strong for their own good. But I don’t think it completely prevents AFB- and I certainly don’t think it treats AFB?
A PIRSA rep in SA told me that on average 1 in 100 hives succumb to AFB each year in SA. Personally I have been beekeeping here for 6 years now and heave never encountered AFB. I have only heard of a few outbreaks. In Sydney AFB seems to be a bit more common with certain suburbs/areas more affected.
I think trying to ‘treat’ an AFB hive and keep it going- could put other beehives at risk and certainly I wouldn’t contemplate such a course of action.