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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Long story short. I had a booming hive, I put a super on before this cold snap we just had. I thought they'd have no problems, they had some extra honey etc.

Well I was wrong. What did I find when I checked today? Early signs of European foulbrood. Twisted uncapped larva in their cells, dying. That's all it took to go from nearly swarming to decline - and empty super prior to a cold snap.

It's difficult to decide what to do this spring. I've opted towards not supering, but all the hives that were not supered are now laying eggs in swarm cells.

So I either have colonies laying swarm cells, not supered, or I super, and they get stressed out from the erratic weather, and develop diseases.

EFB seems to be the disease of choice...or maybe I'm mis-diagnosing chilled brood as EFB.
 

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I dont think twisted larvae as being a symptom of chilled brood. You have had EFB contamination, have you not? Survival time in comb can be up to two years. Test kit is good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Weather has been historically erratic in the Northeast this spring.

Tough to decide how to manage colonies.
 

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I have seen twisted gray larvae that got chilled. If there is any hint of orange tint to the larvae, AND a spotty capped brood pattern, AND a solid egg laying pattern, then I have seen cases where that hive dwindles and requeens repeatedly with worse results each time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have seen twisted gray larvae that got chilled. If there is any hint of orange tint to the larvae, AND a spotty capped brood pattern, AND a solid egg laying pattern, then I have seen cases where that hive dwindles and requeens repeatedly with worse results each time.
They were gray, twisted. Some melted.

No orange colors.

Did I misdiagnose chilled brood for EFB?
 

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IMO, Consider working for or volunteering to help a experienced, seasoned, bona fide professional beekeeper to get out of this rut you are stuck in and to learn how to work with, and for, the bees.
It's easy to get in to deep to quickly and hard to climb back out.
 

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Weather has been historically erratic in the Northeast this spring.

Tough to decide how to manage colonies.
Well it seems you are learning much this Spring. Getting in your hives in an erratic Spring like this is a must. Make up some nucs as a swarm preventive or split.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Still trying to figure out if the twisted uncapped larva, and the melted larva were EFB or chilled brood.

I've seen that now after the cold snaps we've been getting.

The color was not yellowish.
 

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Buying a test will take the guess work out of it
that aside
look at your LIVE larva
are they bright pearly white and swimming in jelly ?

are they "dry" and starveing?

pictures from http://scientificbeekeeping.com/fat-bees-part-1/

Can you see the Tracheal system witch is an early sign of EFB in young larvae.. kind of looks like an orange slice
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6mJ7e5YmnE

is there any yellow tinge to the brood food?


and lastly what are your mite loads like as PMS and EFB can look a lot alike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The weather in the northeast is going back to cold and rainy for a week. Looks like I'll have to take the empty supers off again.

If I don't take them off, they develop disease.

This has not been a good spring.

They look like picture #2, so I guess the cold weather just killed the brood. Never seen such a cold spring before, I was hoping to not have to worry about winter losses this far into the year.
 

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#2 is colony protein starvation, in the spring it only takes a few days of flight restriction (cold, rain, etc) to blow threw the pollen reserves. Do you have supplement on them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Adding the super above the brood nest prior to the cold was enough to cause #2. The colonies without extra space were OK.
 

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Basically you made them heat an area larger than they had resources to handle. And i can attest to the weather being hard to accommodate for, especially this year in PA. but i think if you supplement their feed until they get a good round of brood hatched off all the symptoms will clear on their own.

EFB is typically stress induced, whether from nature, or with a helping hand from an unfortunate decision.

Aaron
 
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