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Hello all-
I had a beekeeper friend of mine ask me to check one of his three hives. This particular hive started as a package this spring and a month ago was booming. However, he checked it a few days ago and said that there were maybe a 1000 bees in the hive with no brood. I went and checked it yesterday and there were about 10. They were gone. Now, I do believe that he has foulbrood in this hive. I snapped some pictures... Would you guys agree? What does he do about it?

What strikes me as odd was that there was no honey-at all, only a small amount of pollen, and no brood. Even if the queen had died, wouldn't they still collect honey?

The other two hives are in the same location and are doing well - each with 3 supers on.
Thanks for your input!
Matthew
http://picasaweb.google.com/bschmidtbauer/20100623?feat=directlink
 

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When you opened up the hive was there a very strong pungent stench?

Kind of hard to tell since there is not really any brood, but what I do not see is the sunken cell caps.

Did you pull any of the pupa out of the cells? They would have been "ropey".

My "opinion" from your pics and description is the hive went queenless and never recovered, brood chilled from lack of bees to cover what brood there was.
If you answered no to the first question then i would say no to AFB.
 

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Looks to me what a hive looks like once the fire ants have harvested every trace of honey/pollen/brood, they chew holes like that in the sealed brood and chop all the brood open or sealed, into little bite-sized chunks and tote them away. And once they have cleaned out a comb they do not stick around. I don't know if fire ants have gotten up there to Minnesota, but maybe other ants or insects could achieve a similar result.
 

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Looks like EFB to me.I had it once last year and 2 times this year.Look in the cells and see if they are dried up scales in the bottom of the cells.copper287
 

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Some cells I can see eggs in. No sign of AFB or EFB. No chalkbrood. From what I see of the dead larva they appear to be just dead. No honey but the other 2 hives have plenty. I would say this hive was robbed causing it's failure.
 

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There is no twisted spiral looking yellowish brown dead larva. Not EFB. The bees will also collapse the cell walls down on EFB larva that is dead.
I only had a few that was twisted in cells and they didn't collapse the cell walls down.I did have mine tested at the bee lab up north.You could send the comb off and have it test for free.copper287
 

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Also in the upper right of the center photo, there is a drone pupa in a worker cell, this is usually the product of laying workers. If the hive became queenless and subsequently taken over by laying workers -- that alone could explain how the colony went into a quick decline; starving dying brood, then being robbed out, etc.
 

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There are no signs of a brood disease from the pictures. I have pictures of AFB, EFB, chalkbrood and other diseases, pests and parasites if you respond privately. A year or two ago this would be CCD. Without a full history I guess they reached a point of less than 10000 and dwindled without a healthy queen.
 
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