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I have a hive that has been very slow/weak this year. My belief was that it had a marginal queen, but I did not re-queen. Two weeks ago it had a very small cluster but the brood pattern was very good, much better than it had been and I assumed they had superceded the old queen and the new/better pattern was the result from the new queen.

I just checked on the hive and immediately noticed that most of the capped brood had sunken caps - very different from anything I have seen before- very distinct. I did not notice any smell. I pulled another frame with the same results.

I have two other strong hives nearby. What should I do? Thank you for any advice and instructions.
 

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Since you have a good brood patern add a frame or two of capped brood (check to make sure you dont transfer the queen). do not put any of the frames from the week hive into the strong hive until you know for sure you dont have foul brood. Check your hive in two weeks and see what happens.
 

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Look for other signs like punctured capping and a brownish viscous liquid that when stuck at w/ a stick doesn't clean out of the cell, but springs back like rubber cement. Do the cappings have an oily look to them, slightly?

You aught to reduce the entrance, so guard bees can keep visitors from robbing the hive.

Get a sample to Beltsville as suggested above.
 

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Minimum-I would remove and burn any frames with infected brood, if it's a small hive probably all the frames. The bees could be shaken off and given foundation to try and start over.

When I found out I had it(almost half my hives) that's what I did for most of them, I didn't worry about any of the equipment except the frames.

One or two I treated with terramycin and tried to overwinter to shake/bake in spring but they didn't make it. Burned those frames as well.

I've been using the boxes, bottom boards, covers without any re-occurance, it's been 5 years, NO antibiotics and the state inspector has been through them since then as well.

Not sure what your state laws are, and you can always go bigger with the bonfire.
 
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