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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    This hive was kept on some property in the mountains of North-East Utah this summer. Due to the extreme drought and lack of nectar flow the hive became very week (others in the same area had the same problems). I brought the hive back to my urban backyard where my other 4 hives have been doing great.

    The hive has been doing well, numbers have increased slightly but to be safe I was going to OFF the queen and combine the hive with one of my stronger hives.

    HOWEVER, I noticed a few strange things in the hive, such as uncapped brood and halfway uncapped brood...which I've read is a sign up Foul Brood. I've also noticed a lot of the cappings are sunken in. I did do a roping test on a few of the brood, but I couldn't get any of it to rope.

    Here are some pictures, things aren't looking too good and I don't want to add this hive to another if there is a serious problem. I need someone who has more experience than me to tell me what's going on.

    Thoughts?








  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,378

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    not an expert, but starvation could be part of it.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,866

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    Possibly they cannot keep their little brood nest warm. I don't know if you have foulbrood. It is hard to tell without being there. If a toothpick twisted in the dead pupae doesn't string out, you don't. I would combine it now if the dead brood is not ropey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    "Here are some pictures, things aren't looking too good and I don't want to add this hive to another if there is a serious problem. I need someone who has more experience than me to tell me what's going on."

    It does not look like AFB to me but I would have it tested.

    Make sure you are not using any equipment you are using on this hive on the rest. If you do an inspection, inspect the questionable one last. Sterilise all the equipment after. AFB is serious.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,630

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    Could be AFB. Could be a heavy varroa mite load causing Parasitic Mite Syndrome (PMS) known to look similar to AFB.

    Did you see any cells w/ a brown vicous jelly which one cannot clean out of the cell w/ a small stick? Acts gluelike, ropes?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    They look really hungry to me.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  7. #7

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    And does it smell bad? They don't call if foulbrood for nothing.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    Do you have a queen? Is there any honey in the hive? The bees will shut down the queen without feed. They will uncap and pull pupas out of the cells and eat them when they have nothing else.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,111

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    I'm voting low food, & not enough nurse bees. I don't know how severe you're winters are, but if it was here I'd feed & give a frame of capped brood with bees to see if they build up.
    USDA Zone 9b
    Dan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,825

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    I vote PMS, Parasitic Mite Syndrome.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,312

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    I'm with Frank and Squarepeg. The colony lost it's bees from mite/virus, and are now starving and unable to care for their brood.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,312

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by scdw43 View Post
    Do you have a queen?
    Look more closely at photo#2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    467

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    If 3 frames of healthy brood with the corresponding nurse bees and everything that had some pollen and capped honey on them were added to that colony I wonder if that would fix it.
    I had a couple weak brood patterns earlier in the season. I think that the numbers were too low from a swarm in one case and another from starting the bees off with a new queen that took a while to start laying. Adding the brood and bees which increased the numbers fixed it. I don't think I had a mite syndrome just low numbers.

    Your queen seen in photo 2 is laying a bunch so I wonder if they need a fresh round of bees and brood to take care of things. I'm just guessing. Adding to it might be an option. Hopefully other forum members with more experience than me will comment on my thinking. I got rid of the troubled brood with more bees no treatment.

    Question.. If bees have parasytic mite syndrome are they done for or could you treat them and snap them out of it? It seems like they will need more bees.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,378

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    or combine with another weak hive. i think the op was considering that.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,378

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    but absolutely, frames with brood, (mostly capped); with pollen, honey, and nurse bees would be perfect in my opinion.

    for me, being just a few weeks from first frost, and the goldenrod is half seed now, i would not want to rob those resources from antoher hive.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,276

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    If no AFB is present in the combs then the best solution is to combine these bees into another colony, it is late in the season to start feeding a decimated hive like this. Splits are easy to make in the spring and drawn combs would give a new split a huge boost at that time, I absolutely agree with squarepeg, I would not want to rob valuable resources from another hive at this time.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,398

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    Enlarge the pics and look closely at the bees. It looks to me like some have shriveled wings. I would guess it's a colony in distress from mite overload and associated DWV. You could reduce down to a nuc, treat, feed and see what happens.

    You may want to do a mite count on your other colonies and evaluate their status.
    To everything there is a season....

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    Great input. My best guess would be starvation. For those of you that read the full post the hive was placed where there was nearly no nectar flow this year, due to high drought. I've kept constant feed on the hive and it seems to be doing MUCH better, however, it was 36 degrees this morning and there is no way this hive will survive the winter.

    If I combine with one of my other hives, it's not going to be fully drawn out. Is it too much to leave three deep frames on a hive where one of them isn't full? This would obviously make more dead air space for the bees to heat.

    I could combine the bees then condense it back down to two deeps, but that's a whole lot of work and stress for another hive this late in the year.

    I doubt it's AFB as any roping tests I've done come out negative...I feel confident at this point combining it...just not sure what course of action to take this late in the year.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,378

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    so glad to hear the good report that this hive is doing better.

    how many boxes are there and how many drawn frames?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Foul Brood or other problems in hive - with pictures

    My other hives all have two deeps, fully drawn.

    This week hive has maybe 7 drawn in one deep but only 3 or so being used.

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