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British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Advice regarding CPBV please

  • Honeybee pests and diseases.
Honeybee pests and diseases.
 #10753  by Jules59
 04 May 2021, 12:35
I have a small apiary at the end of my garden with 3 WBC hives and been beekeeping for just 3 years.
All 3 were productive colonies last year, survived through the winter well, expanded rapidly this spring and have double brood boxes. All colonies received clean hives this spring (bleached and scorched where appropriate)
One colony (the biggest) has since developed CBPV with typical signs: a pile of smelly rotting bees out the front, hairless and shaking bees, K-wing sign.
So far the Q seems unaffected with 13 frames of brood (BIAS) and no signs of swarming.
I have no out-apiary but have moved and rotated the affected colony to reduce cross -contamination through drifting as much as possible.
I have no personal experience of CBPV. So I wonder what to do now?
Advice so far obtained is variable (nothing new there :D )
Active destruction of the colony seems a bit drastic to me at the moment.
My thoughts are to tough-it-out for now as the weather is awful. But when its warmer carry out a bee dump and allow the healthy bees to get back to the Q residing in a clean hive but with the original frames.
I'd appreciate any comments regarding my plan and any additional advice.
 #10754  by Patrick
 04 May 2021, 13:39
Hi Jules

I had a significant single case of CPBV a couple of years ago, with all the classic symptoms. In the absence of knowing a positive intervention, I left them be. Its supposed to be a common latent issue which comes out due to stress and spread by overcrowding (not in my case) / and sometimes advised to requeen (which in itself may be a stressor).

A couple of weeks later the affected bees had died outside the hive and the remainder carried on okay. it has not re-occured. Maybe I got lucky, but I would just cross fingers for better weather.
 #10760  by AdamD
 04 May 2021, 19:10
I have a colony with it now, although it's expanding OK and the number of dying bees is already reducing. The colony isn't that big yet - but none are as they are way behind normal years. What I am doing with this one is to move the bees onto clean comb with a bailey comb exchange (1 week in) and I have also fed it strong thymol syrup to help ensure it's nosema free. The idea that I am trying to help the bees rid themselves of the CBP virus as best as I can. (The comb, to be fair, is as dark as anything so it really does need changing out!). I don't know if my intervention will help much; I have had colonies with it before and left them to it and the problem tends to go away after time. I am concious of ensuring that I don't spread disease fromone colony to another - so it's the last one I inspect and I have a container of bleach/washing soda/water and a brush that I use to clean my hive tool and smoker with between inspections.