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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hive that has been fighting with chalkbrood all year. I've been giving them lots of ventilation to keep as much moisture out as I can but it seems to continue. Queen is laying and brood pattern is fair but not fantastic. Should I pickup a new queen for the hive or just continue to let them deal with it?

Thanks!
 

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Ya, I battled it for a whole year after trying to make nucs when was too too cold, new queens the whole deal. It let up in that fall, but bounced back the next spring only to disappear for good when the weather warmed up.
 

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Chilled brood seems to be the primary cause of chalkbrood, but genetics probably contributes to that in several ways. First how good are they at keeping the brood a consistent temperature (and the right temperature) and do they grow the brood nest too far too fast and then it gets chilled because they can't keep it warm in a cold snap. Then there is hygienic behavior which means they remove them before they produce spores. Usually chalkbrood is early but takes a long time to recover from. The mummies are difficult to remove so they are still removing them months later.
 

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Chilled brood seems to be the primary cause of chalkbrood, but genetics probably contributes to that in several ways. .......
My worst bees developed the chalk brood mid-summer - very strong and large colony too.
With that, I don't know if the chilled brood is the issue (maybe one of the issues).
Crappy bees for sure are a part of it.
 

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It is getting pretty late for you all I'd imagine. I am a firm believer in requeening hives that show signs of chalkbrood or foulbrood. No tolerance policy here. Works very well for us.

Absolutely. Hygienic queens will eliminate any chalkbrood problem, and it won’t return. It’s not really about sunshine and ventilation and cold weather. It is about susceptibility and hygiene. Totally about genetics.
 

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I always re-queen if chalk shows up. I destroy old queen, then wait 7-9 days and go through to destroy any and all queen cells they have started, then I introduce a caged queen and let the hive release her. This gives a bit of a brood break to the hive and helps insure a good acceptance of the new queen as they are then hopelessly queenless, and desperate for a queen so the hive can continue as an organism.
 

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I always re-queen if chalk shows up. I destroy old queen, then wait 7-9 days and go through to destroy any and all queen cells they have started, then I introduce a caged queen and let the hive release her. This gives a bit of a brood break to the hive and helps insure a good acceptance of the new queen as they are then hopelessly queenless, and desperate for a queen so the hive can continue as an organism.
Good idea, maybe throw a shot of OAV or two to help clean out another pest while you're at it. See you on chat Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I always re-queen if chalk shows up. I destroy old queen, then wait 7-9 days and go through to destroy any and all queen cells they have started, then I introduce a caged queen and let the hive release her. This gives a bit of a brood break to the hive and helps insure a good acceptance of the new queen as they are then hopelessly queenless, and desperate for a queen so the hive can continue as an organism.
Weather is starting to cool here but we have a couple good weeks of forage left. Looks like I can get a queen shipped September 4th still. Is it reasonable to requeen at this point?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Probably okay. I would use a push in cage
The advantage here is the queen has a chance to lay some brood to help with acceptance correct? Also, is it possible to kill the existing queen and install the new queen with a push-in cage the same day or do you need to wait and go an a QC killing spree until they are hopelessly queenless?
 

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My way of looking at it is that the longer you leave them with no queen the more likely they are to start cells. Once cells are started they may not accept a new queen. They may release her and even lay some eggs but they may not tear down started cells and an emerging virgin may kill her later.

Michael's advice makes this very unlikely with removing the old queen and immediate installation of new one in a push in cage. Thinking you can find and destroy every started cell is a poor bet especially if you have a lot of mixed construction like on foundationless frames. I destroyed cells twice and still missed two cells that were on an outside frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My way of looking at it is that the longer you leave them with no queen the more likely they are to start cells. Once cells are started they may not accept a new queen. They may release her and even lay some eggs but they may not tear down started cells and an emerging virgin may kill her later.

Michael's advice makes this very unlikely with removing the old queen and immediate installation of new one in a push in cage. Thinking you can find and destroy every started cell is a poor bet especially if you have a lot of mixed construction like on foundationless frames. I destroyed cells twice and still missed two cells that were on an outside frame.
Thanks everyone for the feedback. One more question. When the new queen comes in and I use the push in cage, should I leave her attendants with her knowing the emerging brood beneath the cage may not be viable, or should I steal a frame of known good brood from a different hive to place her/confine her on?
 

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. One more question. When the new queen comes in and I use the push in cage, should I leave her attendants with her knowing the emerging brood beneath the cage may not be viable, or should I steal a frame of known good brood from a different hive to place her/confine her on?
If you have a robust hive that can spare a frame of clean, emerging (or close to emerging brood) that would be a big plus. Young bees accept queens awesome and the extra workforce will help clean up the hive and encourage more laying on the new queens part. If there is not much pollen I would give them a patty as well.
 

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. One more question. When the new queen comes in and I use the push in cage, should I leave her attendants with her knowing the emerging brood beneath the cage may not be viable, or should I steal a frame of known good brood from a different hive to place her/confine her on?
If most of the brood in the colony is diseased, it might be a good idea to take a frame of emerging brood from a healthy colony. No need to include the cage attendants. Emerging brood and a bit of nectar under the cage. Careful your new queen doesn't fly away. You might do the transfer while sitting in your car, windows up, or in the house in front of a window...if you're not comfortable in handling queens. You can see some videos on my site about push in cages.
 
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