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Thread: "Mummy" Bees?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Thomas County, Georgia
    Posts
    29

    Default "Mummy" Bees?

    First year beekeeper with a strong and producing colony, but during last week's inspection I found just two brood cells that looked strange, on the same frame and not very far apart. One had a pin hole, which I opened up to find a solid white adult bee that looks like it just died right before it hatched, and an open cell containing a bee that looked the same. Friend of mine who is an experienced keeper said they were called "mummy" bees but I could not find out what the actual disease was called, what caused it, or what the treatment was for it.

    Is this something to be worried about and needs aggressive attention, or is this kinda normal? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: "Mummy" Bees?

    I'll leave it up to you to do the research because I'm not sure (apart from keeping the surrounding area clean and dry/good bee-keeper hygiene) if you should/can treat chalk brood effectively. Which is what my inexperienced self thinks it is ...

    I have it in my new hive and wonder if there is a chalk brood count similar to varroa that'll give me sense of when I should intervene.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,988

    Default Re: "Mummy" Bees?

    There are at least two possibilities:

    1) Chalkbrood (https://agdev.anr.udel.edu/maarec/ho...lery/image/107)
    2) VSH behavior (http://www.extension.org/pages/30361...n#.VVEPaEj9yx4)

    Regarding VSH, these bees will often routinely uncap brood, sometimes removing it, and other times recapping it. Without a picture, its hard to say which of these two you saw. I suspect that its VSH, as chalkbrood is more common in early spring, and VSH is more common later in the season as mite populations increase. With chalkbrood the bees will look like mummies engulfed by the fungus (see picts in the link above), and with VSH you'll still be able to identify the features of the pupae.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

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