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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi beesource members,

First time poster. This is my second season beekeeping and I'm at a loss at what this pest may be... I'm pretty sure what we're looking at are dead brood, but perhaps it's something else? Some potentially useful info: this is not the original queen, we had a swarm early on this season ... I was able to capture that swarm and transfer it to a new hive... but they eventually fell to robber bees. This hive we're looking at was battling sugar ants for awhile until I was able to put oil moats at the base to stop... for awhile I just assumed these were dead brood from that attack.

I looked into the hive (it's a 8 frame hive about 5 shallow boxes deep). I did not see anything particularly unusual, though I didn't have the nerve to go to the bottom box. Let me know if y'all need any more information... and thank you for taking an interest!

IMG_20200713_105354.jpg
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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The picture is fuzzy when magnified but it appears that most of the bees are missing their heads and thoraxes. What part of the hive is the board they are on? You need to go all the way down and see if you have a rodent or something living in the hive.

Another thought, did you put a queen excluder in the hive? Sometimes drones get caught above the excluder and die. The bees have to dismember them to get them out of the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Google chalk brood.
When you take a picture up close at an angle,only a small part of the photo is in focus.
Dang, that's definitely it. I wonder if it's from a combination of that sugar ant attack + putting the hive up on an oil moat. Thanks so much. I'll be sure to take a better photo next time / at least double check the focus!

Cheers
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Good call Jack. I did not recognize what I was seeing as dead pupae.
 

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If it's chalk brood, it was not caused by sugar ants or your moat. Most have success against chalk brood by requeening.
I have never heard of sugar ants being more than an annoyance. If they really overran the hive, its beecause its not healthy, as you now know. Good luck. J
 

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I never had chalk brood until I caught the most worse-less bees to date - these had chalk brood mid-summer for no rhyme or reason.
Really an indication of the genetics to be replaced.
 

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Queen replacement seems a common help. Also get your bees up out of the weeds; steam bath humidity seems suspect too.
 
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