Are these bees sick?

Hi guys,

Newby here and after some advice. Checked hive 8 days ago and all looked pretty good.

Checked agin today (hoping flow frames would be ready to harvest - so close!) and found black, dead larvae in 1 frame. There’s no bad smell, and from my research (read searching google images), I’m not sure what problem it is. Could someone pls enlighten me? (And not say foul brood!)

Not sure if it is relevant but also found a single queen cell on the middle side section of a frame today - they requeened themselves approx 3 months ago when I first got the hive (after a split with a friend)

Hi Steph,
Your frames look normal to me, I see dark pollen but no dead larva. Did you forget to post the photos of the dead? I hope you shook the bees off for the photo because a bee here and there on the frame is not normal. Do you have a good covering of bees on every frame? I blew up one of your photos and I can see healthy larva and eggs so your queen is laying. What seems to be the problem?

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I have the same concerns as @Rodderick in relation to bee numbers, however going by Rod’s closeup photo, you must have shaken the bees off for the photo. Otherwise it wouldn’t look so healthy.

Enough black dead brood will smell foul in time. It could be either disease, or brood that has been neglected for some reason & therefore consequently perished.


thanks for the replies @Rodderick and @JeffH

yep, bees shaken off otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to see any cells at all

the photos aren’t great sorry (had to take my glove off to take them and the bees were a little unimpressed)

In this photo below you might be better able to see the cells I am concerned about

Also, if the bees are requeening themselves (see original post), then I assume they are worried about this too?

Hope you’re both right and I’m just overly cautious!!

I agree Steph, those cells don’t look 100 per cent right.

I wonder if you could dig them out and have a look at them with a magnifying glass indoors? Perhaps photograph one and post?

I agree with @Dan2, those 2 cells don’t look a 100% right. However as long as it’s only 2, I wouldn’t worry. Anyway, well spotted.

I wasn’t able get real close to those cells like Rod did, however I can’t see afb or chalkbrood.

Had another look at the cells in question, still looks like pollen to me just not packed down yet. Odd colour though. I would keep an eye on them but I agree with @JeffH and @Dan2 … might need a closer look next time you inspect with a magnifying glass.


thanks guys

examined hive again yesterday and all seems to be back to normal, so lets hope it stays that way!

from steph