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Flow frames may be contaminated with AFB

Ok guys. So, the hive my flow frames are sitting on May be positive for American Foul Brood. I probably won’t k ow for sure for at least a couple of days. I suspect it may be a case of AFB because of the smell I detected yesturday. So my question is this: if it is concluded that the colony is positive for AFB and I am forced to burn everything, then are my flow frames salvageable or are they also ruined for good? What options exists for sterilizing flow frames?

Was your rope test positive? If so, I feel for your loss.

Here in Australia we gamma irradiate the entire hive and all equipment that came into contact. Best you ask the flow people if they know of other options if that’s not an option for you. I never found out what else can be done.
Note that boiling does not kill AFB spores, besides, the flow frames can’t take over 70C anyway.

It’s worth while for you to find out what the source of your infection may be, so you can trace it back, warn nearby beeks and avoid the problem in the future.
There is a cool Facebook group ‘AFB Aware’ in Australia, with lots of info. There seems a stigma attached to finding AFB in your hives, so many beekeepers still keep silent about it.

Wishing you good luck for your beekeeping future. Don’t give up.

Doing the rope test Monday…didnt have time yesterday when I first noticed the smell. Spoke with a knowledgeable local though and he highly doubts it’s AFB. It is, apparently, more likely to be either EFB or just stinky pollen in the hive. I will know more in a couple of days but at least my mind is at ease for now.


What does the brood look like?
AFB is unmistakable

My bees are on dandelions and the stink of the nectar is unbelievable


And I heard EFB stinks more than AFB. Both AFB affected hives I saw didn’t stink that badly. One was very early, the other very late.

A foul smell can also be associated with SHB infestation.

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@Dee, random question…

My bees are on dandelions…

Do you ever make dandelion syrup? Or eat them? Apparently the leaves are meant to taste similar to Arugula/Rocket

…and the stink of the nectar is unbelievable

Didn’t knew it had an awful smell. I started to have dandelions come up in the yard this year. I’ll make an effort to get rid of them next year…

You can eat all parts of the dandelion. The flower heads are quite sweet and can be added to salads.
Dandelions are wonderful resource for the bees, I wouldn’t be pulling any out. We are surrounded by fields of them here in Wales. The bees will use most of the nectar and pollen anyway but what is left matures into a full bodied honey if left bottled for a few months


Bees need the dandelions as a huge early source of nectar and pollen. Like goldenrod and asters, the nectar may smell odd but the honey sure tastes sweet :slight_smile:

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Early source? Dandelions around me flowered mid to late summer this year… Well, that’s really when they started to flower profusely.

Early sources of nectar and pollen for me include Callistemon, Kennedia Nigracans, assorted Citrus, and the odd Acacia.

Oh sorry: I’m in the Northeastern USA: Early source and a big source for us.

You’ll need to clear them in a 3 mile radius (4.8 km for you) lol

Don’t be sorry! I just noticed the difference in flowering. I wouldn’t say the last spring and summer was normal here… Flowering was a bit out of the norm. I’ll pay more attention to the dandelions next year.

Thank you!

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