7/20/2015 2:19 PM
EFB & LACTO FORMULA
When you open your hive and you don’t smell honey right off, you need to check why for the following diseases:
1. If it smells like road kill rotting and looks like nasal mucous when you prick a cell with a toothpick, you probably have American Foulbrood (AFB). You need to take care of the hive and bees according to your states’ or country’s regulations. AFB is highly contagious to honeybees.
2. If it smells like something between rotting or spoiling, you probably have Idiopathic Brood Disease (IBDS). Just replace the frames with the odor and grey/brown puddle in the cells.
3. If it smells more like a spoiled meat or something sour, you probably have European Foulbrood Disease (EFB). It, too, is contagious. It will appear off-white in color where the white larva has started decaying or like a yellow blob in the cell. But it can be cleared up.
As a natural, organic, no-treatment beekeeper I do not use antibiotics. I wrote an article for the Center for Honeybee Research Newsletter about my using live cultures Lactobacillus/Biobifidobacterium of freeze-dried, room temperature probiotics in water for use as a spray and feed for honeybees with EFB. I have used this formula before, and it is mine, with great success. This time around, not used to diseases and through my own stupidity, I passed the EFB throughout my 7 hives because I didn't clean (burn) my tools or clean my gloves. Below is a version of that formula with more detailed instructions.
Not to worry, my formula used in a spray and feed took care of the EFB in all hives that are now thriving, humming, and growing. It also took about a week longer because of the humid, rainy weather we have had for several weeks now, so I may have used the formula more than needed. The formula will not harm the bees if it is used as indicated and will actually make the bees healthier.
WHAT YOU NEED
From a health food store or pharmacy purchase a bottle of freeze-dried (lyophilized) probiotic supplement that can stay at room temperature. It needs to contain at least the following 10 bacterium (you don’t really need any more than 10):
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Bifidobacteriu, breve
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus paracasei
- Lactobacillus salivarius
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
How to prepare the Lacto Formula:
Pull apart 1 capsule of Lactobacillus/Biobifidobacterium and empty the contents into 1 cup of tepid water in a glass container. Do not use plastic. Stir to dissolve, put on lid, and refrigerate until ready to use. (NOTE: you can dissolve the capsule but it takes too long and the bees don’t need the gelatin from the capsule itself.) You can keep this mixture in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Shake before each use.
You can use the Lacto Formula in two different ways:
- SPRAY: Put 1 teaspoon. of lacto formula into 1 quart of water in a plastic spray bottle and lightly spray both sides of the frames and spray the bees. A light spray will not harm the bees. Spray the frames every other day the 1st week (3-4 times the 1st. week). The odor will most likely be gone after the first or second spray. Spray the frames twice the 2nd week, and once the 3rd week. If you wish, you can also use 1/2 teaspoon in 1 pint of water in a spray bottle. (Throw away any contents left in the bottle after each use as it will deteriorate in the hot weather.)
If you have humid conditions and see any new signs of EFB, repeat the spray schedule. It took me 4 weeks. The bees will remove any dried up larvae, which will be brown/black in color.
- FEED: In 1 gallon container (I use glass), 11 cups of sugar (or about 3/4 of container) and add enough hot water to fill container above the sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved then let it cool. Add enough cool water to fill the container nearly to the top.
When you are ready to feed the sugar water, add only 2 Tablespoons of Lacto Formula. DO NOT PUT LACTO FORMULA IN HOT SUGAR MIXTURE.
NOTE: One capsule is enough for one adult human being and far too much for a single honeybee. 2 Tbsps of the lacto formula in the sugar water and 1 tsp in quart of water is enough for the bees.
Lady Spirit Moon
PS: Just received news from the FOA-TECA forum that Central Italy found great success in using lactobacillus in the hives.
Copyright ©2015 Lady Spirit Moon