I have a hive that has chalk brood, and all of the reading that I can find on the subject is "keep the hive strong, requeen". The hive is strong and growing, I don't mind requeening, but is this realy going to fix the problem? What if I do a shake down of the hive? Would putting them on new foundation help?
Cut a couple of extra holes in your inner cover and put #8 hardware cloth on them. Take an old super (any size) and drill some holes in the side, two to a side. Better if you angle them all the same direction. Put #8 Hardware cloth on the holes. Put the now beeproof and better ventilated inner cove on the hive with the super (with the angles so the water will run back out) on top with your telescopic or migratory cover on top of that. You now have a ventilated hive. Ventilation is the only way I know to resolve the situation. You could try some essential oil treatments. Wintergreen or Honey Bee Healty is supposed to cut down on fungus and mold and that's what Chalkbrood is.
Calk brood comes from spores Ascosphaera apis
there is world wide no medication available.
1. Comes from old combs with spores
2. from bees (over wintering in guts)
3. old not clean hives
4. from infected food paddy (honey products from other beekeepers)
5. from infected honey
The only way to help the colony look for a new dry place for your hives and go for a new queen. Hold your bee equipment clean.
Try thymol, its a fungicide as well as a miticide. I used to have a little chalkbrood; I haven't seen any since I started using the stuff. Another possibility would be screen bottoms, which would sort out any ventilation problems. Susceptibility to chalk is supposed to be genetic, so you could restrain if its bad.
I just bought some nucs that have chalkbrood. The seller says it's more or less normal. Don't worry. How upset should I be?
I think I'd be upset. If it was normal we wouldn't give it a name and it wouldn't be killing brood.
You can probably pull them through though. Put them in a sunny place. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation by using either a Screened Bottom Board or some kind of ventilation system that allows air to move out the top of the hive. Make sure the bottom board is sloped so the water runs off.
Chaulkbrood spores may be normal, but if it's killing your brood it's a disease.
Dickm the next time buy your bees from other sellers, you got junk!
I checked out the hives today and saw no remarkable infestation. In the worst 1 (of 2) I saw a few cells affected. I'm going to feed them and quit worrying. Apparently these (carnolian) bees can clean this up themselves. I love these bees.
Just a follow-up. I went through the hives yesterday and saw no big build-up of disease, just a few cells affected and the bees seemed to be handling that well. I spoke to 3 knowledgeable people at my bee meeting last night. (One of them a published and respected author on bees). They basically said, "Don't worry, it's fairly common." I guess it's a damp weather, spring in the north occurence. The long winter may have had something to do with it. I'm told that in a damp climate, it can be very serious.
To sum up: Mike, you were exactly right. Sorry I couldn't just take your word for it. I was a bit in a panic. I felt like I'd gotten gonnerea (no one can spell that!) on a first date.
Chalk is a fungus infection, it probably likes damp conditions. I personally wouldn't worry too much as long as the levels were low; our native A.m.m. are known to suffer from it, and those are the bees I want, I'm tired of struggling on with ill-adapted hybrids. As long as its at low levels, it won't do significant harm, and in time it might be possible to breed the tendency out. It would be worth trying.