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Rahmlow, H. J. (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. XXX (September 1939/July-August 1940)

Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 30, no. 9: May, 1940,   pp. [241]-272

Page 253

Why Can't American Foulbrood 
             Be Cleaned Up In A County 
                       After Ten Years of Inspection? 
                           E. L. Chambers 
A   BEEKEEPER       inquires, "Why 
     isn't it possible to clean up a 
county of American Foulbrood after ten 
years of inspection ?" That is a good 
question and one we are glad to dis- 
cuss based on our experience. 
  Let us consider Dane County. Our 
records indicate that 394 yards were in- 
spected last summer in Dane County 
and 20 yards had 60 colonies infected 
w'ith American foulbrood which were 
immediately destroyed. A total of 1,713 
colonies were inspected in the yards at 
a cost of $976 or approximately 52 cents 
per colony. The inspectors werc in- 
structed to keep their work in solid 
blocks in adjoining counties and to 
cover as much of the county assigned 
them a,: the funds allotted in the coun- 
ty would permit. We have in our rec- 
ords 657 beekeepers in Dane County 
and our funds permitted inspection of 
only 394 of these last year. To have 
inspected all of them would have re- 
quircd the expenditure of $1,583.37, 
based on the cost figure above. In this 
work every colony of bees the inspec- 
tors could find was inspected and to- 
gether with the honey t'he infected col- 
onies were burned, and all infected 
equipment either burned or scorched 
  It would seem that we could follow 
up the diseased yards and those within 
two miles for a few years and the task 
would be complete. Our experience has 
shown that it is not so simple. In the 
first place, we must have a two- mile 
protective zone around the county, and 
we do establish one, which adds ma- 
terially to the cost. Then we must rea- 
lize it is humanly impossible for an 
inspector to find every colony of bees. 
Thus far tax assessors have only re- 
ported 82 apiaries in Dane County out 
,,f the 657 we have in our records, yet 
among these were nine that we appar- 
ently did not know about. These were 
checked by the inspector. It may be 
that some, or all of them, were listed 
iiiiler a different niame than recorded 
ii our fik s. 
         The Real Problem 
  Then we 'have those inevitable cases 
of bees in trees and walls of buildings 
and what-not that complicate the situ- 
ation. Now we come to the real prob- 
lem as to why we can't clean up an 
area after ten years-namely, old used 
infected equipment stored away every- 
where. Everything from  a few hens 
nests in the chicken house made out of 
old supers to quantities of old supers, 
frames, and combs stored in garages, 
shops, old barns, and in the basement 
and attic of the home, are used. While 
we have records of 657 bee yards in 
Dane county, we also are aware that 
we bave 6,157 farmers, many of whom 
have kept bees at one time or another 
or have in their possession used bee 
equipment and when a swarm of bees 
makes its appearance, they suddenly 
recall some of this old equipment that 
Grandpa or Uncle John had fifteen or 
twenty years ago and drag it out. 
Right there a reinfection center is 
brought to light. The spores seem to 
remain visible in old equipment almost 
indefinitely. Perhaps if the farmers 
were compensated for old bee equip- 
ment destroyed, we might get it out of 
circulation sooner. The inspector, of 
course, cannot enter a private 'home to 
search for bee equipment without a 
search warrant, and when the owner 
denies that lie has any equipment in 
the home there can be little done about 
  We fecl that we have the movement 
of diseased bees and used bee equip- 
ment pretty well in hand with the per- 
mit to move requirement, particularly 
in the areas where we hmave been con- 
centrating our efforts most because 
here we have a fairly good check on 
the movenmnt of bees and their loca- 
tion. It takes large sums of money 
over a short period of time to make 
any clean-up really effective. It should 
be borne in mind that the success of 
practically all of our large scale con- 
trol campaigns have been due to the 
availability of large Federal appropria- 
tions for the work. It is doubtful if 
any of these could have been carried 
out or would have been attempted if 
they were dependant upon state funds 
alone. Two other area clean-up cam- 
paigns conducted in connection witlh 
our office, namely Barberry Eradica- 
tion and White Pine Blister Rust Con- 
trol, have each received over a million 
dollars in Federal aid during the last 
ten  years whereas the total state 
money actually spent for bee disease 
control during that time amounts to 
only $105,182.51. 
  N April a beekeeper sent to us 
    a vial of queen paint he had 
 attempted to make following our 
 directions in the last issue, by 
 dissolving a toothbrush handle in 
 acetone. The result was a thick 
 jelly without much color. On ex- 
 amination we found that the 
 ti thbrush handle was not made 
 of celluloid as instructed, but evi- 
 dently of some new compound 
 which is now being used for miak- 
 imig toothbrush handles. 
   This being the case, we would 
advise making paint as follows: 
Htuy some clear white celluloid 
(Sears, Roebuck stores have it, 
also   some   garages). Dissolve 
small strips of it in a vial of ace- 
tone   until the  liquid  is  fairly 
thick. It takes some time to dis- 
s-olve the celluloid, so (10 it well 
in advance of the time it is to be 
used. Now purchase from a paint 
shop some powdered coloring or 
pigment which painters use. The 
hest colors are scarlet or red and 
Yellow. Next fill a pill vial about 
two-thirds full of the mixture, 
acetone and celluloid, and then 
add a pinch of the colored powder. 
Shake well until the powder is 
ttixed thoroughly. If too thick, 
add a little clear acetone. A bot- 
tle of acetone should always be 
Saken along to the beeyard be- 
cause it evaporates and the paint 
mntist be thinned frequently. 
  For a dauber, use a common 
cork in which has been stuck a 
round  toothpick, hard  match 
stick, or nail with small round 
head. This forms a dauber to be 
used in applying the paint to the 
  20 colonies of bees for sale. A. 
C. Allen, Portage, Wisconsin. 
  Mistress: "Did yot empty the 
water tinder the refrigerator?" 
  Green Girl: "Yes'm, and put in 
some fresh." 
May, 1940 

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