My brood patterns have been spotty in my hives all fall. What I am seeing is fully formed brood dying before emerging. I see brood with head sticking through cap with tongue sticking out. Some have dwv and some do not. Any thoughts?
Sometimes when a small patch of brood matures, but fails to emerge, it is good to take some fine-tipped forceps and carefully pry them out of their cells -- doing this, I discovered that many times a wax moth larvae has managed to trap them in their cells with its webbing, as it burrows through the comb among the bee brood. At least it is worth a little effort to see if that's the case, or if there is a different cause. If you do discover wax moth larvae, at least there is a known preventative (B401/Certan/Bt Aizwai).
Wax moth larva will only be a problem if the hive is weak. The wax moth problem will not be a reason why the hive is weak but rather the effect of a weak hive.
Bees which can not emerge properly, and have died with the tongue sticking out is due to weak bees. Weak bees which have died in this fashion more than likely have DWV. Do a post mortem by pulling them out and checking the bees over. DWV will more than likely bee the cause.
DWV is mostly vectored in by mites, which lead to DWV, which lead to weak bees, then to dead bees which can not emerge properly...The final result is if it is not taken care of quick enough, a weak hive which wax moths start to invade.
Varroa....cause....wax moths second last effect ...colony death final effect.
It sounds like you need to do a varroa treatment as soon as possible. If you are treatment free then you can expect to lose this hive.
Many varroa treatments are temperature dependant and cannot be used this time of year in most of the states as it is too cold. Since you are down south you may be able to do it depending on your local climate. Another option that I have looked at it Hopguard which is not temperature dependant. Currently not approved in Vermont so I haven't tried it yet but initial reports are that it is effective.
I'm sorry, but wax moth larva can be a problem no matter how strong a colony is. Maybe in some areas, it could be true that wax moth larva are totally eliminated/prevented by strong bee colonies, but I've never found that to be 100% true no matter where in this country I was living at the time. A few wax moth larva always seem to sneak in.
Perhaps Varroa mites and DWV vectored by them may be responsible for failure of adult brood to emerge successfully, but if you see small segments of combs where most of the brood has emerged, but a group of workers seems to be having difficulty exiting their cells, carefully pulling them from their cells may show how they are trapped there.
I appreciate alll the replies. The same problem is scattered throughout most of my hives. It is probably related to mites. Also one or two cells in each show what looks like efb or what folks have called snot brood. Probably pms. We'll apply hopsguard and see what happens. I have treated for mites but we had a lot of stress throughout the summer and fall. We fed but couldn't seem to feed enough. It may be best if they all die and the virulent mites along with them and just start over equipment and all.