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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Rainier, OR
    Posts
    247

    Post

    Yesterday, I went to my outyard to check on the bees. One of my hives, which was transplanted from a nuc about 3 weeks ago and booming last Monday (the 15th) had a couple thousand chalkbrood mummies at the entrance, around the hive, and on the hive floor.

    There weren't too many mummies in the combs.

    Here's the scoop: The nuc was pretty ancient, and I'm guessing the comb was a few years old. Last week was really hot and perhaps a bit muggy--Monday's inspection was on a recordbreaking day of heat for the area (96).

    That hive was the only of my three with a migratory cover. Luckily, I'd bought it a tele cover and Luan inner cover, so I put that on it yesterday after discovering the mess. I also pulled the tray out of the screened bottom board. This hive had had a solid reversible board (large side up) up until last Monday's inspection, don't know if that had anything to do with it.

    We're expecting a bit of rain but temps in the 70s all week, no severe night temps.

    So here we go:

    1. Think the girls will be okay for about a week? (I won't see them until I get back from a trip...)

    2. Do I really have to requeen? The bees seem to be doing a great job of cleaning up, and as it is, it's a brand new "hygenic" Carniolan queen whose progeny is only beginning to replace the Italians (nuc built third week in April).

    3. Could spraying the new Piercos with sugar water/lemongrass oil have really upped the moisture level enough to set off the chalkbrood, or is this a non-issue?

    4. Next week, even if there's improvement, should I cull the old comb from the original nuc?

    Thanks in advance. I'm hoping this doesn't pop up in the other hive built from a nuc (same source).

    [size="1"][ May 21, 2006, 06:41 PM: Message edited by: Lupine ][/size]
    Pocket Meadow Farm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,282

    Post

    >1. Think the girls will be okay for about a week? (I won't see them until I get back from a trip...)

    Probably.

    >2. Do I really have to requeen?

    No.

    > The bees seem to be doing a great job of cleaning up, and as it is, it's a brand new "hygenic" Carniolan queen whose progeny is only beginning to replace the Italians (nuc built third week in April).

    Put them in the direct sun all day.

    >3. Could spraying the new Piercos with sugar water/lemongrass oil have really upped the moisture level enough to set off the chalkbrood, or is this a non-issue?

    Non issue.

    >4. Next week, even if there's improvement, should I cull the old comb from the original nuc?

    I wouldn't.

    >Thanks in advance. I'm hoping this doesn't pop up in the other hive built from a nuc (same source).

    Chalkbrood usually clears up if you get them in the sun. Usually it's a temporary condition from particular humid conditions.

    Feeding syrup might contribute considering the pH that it lives in:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Rainier, OR
    Posts
    247

    Post

    Thanks, Michael...I'll read that link, too. The feeders were clean as of last Monday, but next week I'll pull them-everybody's got lots of stores, and the trailing blackberries are blooming in spades--as is the scot's broom.

    They're in as much sun as there gonna get out there, too.

    I feel better now...let's see how I'm feeling a week from now!
    Pocket Meadow Farm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Some strains are more susceptible than others; requeen if it's serious and nothing else works, but not otherwise. Chalk is a fungus which thrives in damp conditions; how dry are your hives? Are they on screen bottoms? If not, try them; I've known that alone to clear it up in a hive.

    [size="1"][ June 05, 2006, 02:40 AM: Message edited by: Robert Brenchley ][/size]
    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Rainier, OR
    Posts
    247

    Post

    When I went out there a week ago, the hive had much improved. Maybe only a couple mummies in the combs (too difficult to clean out?) and while there were still quite a few on the bottom screen, I found them difficult to scrape off with my gloved fingers.

    Robert, all of my hives are on screens with the trays removed; the hive in question had been on a standard reversible up until about the week prior to the discovery.

    Last Tuesday (when I checked them last) was perhaps the only sunny day we've had in two weeks. They're about as dry as they're gonna be in NW Oregon!
    Pocket Meadow Farm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    To requeen is best way to get rid of chalkbrood if other hives are managed in same way.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Newberg, OR USA
    Posts
    146

    Smile

    Hey this chalkbrood person sounds like someone I have met. Even sold nucs to

    I'll confess some of the hives did get chaulkbrood this spring. More then likely caused by me feeding them as much as they would take "WHILE" it was still raining outside for weeks on end this spring.
    Yes of course the nucs I made walked out with some of it. BUT these where all new queens in these nucs and the weather cleared finally.
    Chaulkbrood is one of those things that pops up from time to time. Most of the time it takes care of itself. If a hive has a constant issue with it I would look into moisture issues with that hive. I know they say to replace the queen BUT really what is that going to do. Other then break the brood cycle. Save yourself the cost of queen and cage they one that is in there for a couple weeks to brake the brood cycle and save yourself some money.

    Chaulkbrood, afb, efb, if you have bees for any amount of time you will have some of the above. But no one likes to admit to it. [img]tongue.gif[/img] But everyone has it [img]smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    I have problem of chalkbrood which I try to get rid off. During years I have noticed that if I have bad chalk brood case it is vain to keep that hive. They just raise larvae which die.

    Last summer I raised queens. I killed all queens which had chalbrood in mating nucs. I killed over 50% of my new queens.

    If small hive have bad chalk brood ( 5 frames) it is better to destroy brood and give new frames. So most oh hives start new clean life.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Rainier, OR
    Posts
    247

    Post

    Hey, Andrew!

    No worries, I'm not going to be leaving flaming paper bags of dog poo on your porch--we've had one heck of a wet spring, and in general, they're pretty nice bees.

    The hive in question seems to be improving--I'll watch it for another month or so and see what's up.
    Pocket Meadow Farm

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