Chalk Brood, please confirm

Hello, can I please get confirmation Im looking at chalk brood, I was so discouraged to see the nuc was progressing seemly so well until this. If confirmed I’ll now have to search away at how to treat it.
chalk brood
Thanks for the advice
I also spotted this lady doing her thing.


Hi Ian, yes that is chalk brood disease.

What I would do is close up any extra ventilation & reduce the entrance to just a couple of inches.

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Hi thanks @JeffH, I did do that, there is not quite 2" I did wonder if that would inhibit them dragging out the debris. I do have a top feeder on it but its in its own box that sits on top of the lid so shouldn’t let too much heat out. I think its just low numbers again, they do however seem to have the SHB under control in there unlike the other nuc that got slimed out a few weeks back, mind you it was packed with bees when I put it from 5 to 8 frame box. :man_shrugging:
I still have one hive that seems to be going well, I did notice theyre getting a little agressive so hopefully theyre still okay.

Hi Ian, low bee numbers will also contribute to chalk brood, on account that there’s not enough bees to keep the brood warm, thus allowing it to chill.

The bees will drag the debris out through a 2" entrance, especially if the bee numbers are low, as you suggest.

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Hi, I thought Id let you know what has happened here. @JeffH I did read on a post you’d replied to that your quite the SHB expert (I think it was a post from about 2015) :wink:. Ive recently lost all my hives to these, the first casualty was my flow hive classic. The last one was yesturday, over the last fortnight I had taken about 18kg of honey from this hive and they were strong and doing well.
As Im close to the red zone for Varroa here in the Hunter the DPI came on Tuesday last week to put some strips in with a sticky mat to monitor the hive, these were removed Friday. Yesturday morining they took off, the outter 2 frames are full and capped of honey with the inside having both pollen and honey however a lot of SHB.
I have a list of modification and strategies to do to the hives prior to getting started again. I was a bit dissapointed that they have defeated me with this battle. Now Ill have to look up how to clean flow frames, melt affected wax after freezing the 26 brood frames and begin to regroup.
Thank you for your valuable advice of the last few years.
Kind regards.

Hi Ian, thanks for keeping me informed.
The main thing is to recognize what caused the slime-out & how to avoid it from happening again.
Things to look out for is:
Possible honey spills during harvest.
Large areas of drone brood.
Not enough workers to take care of & protect the brood & pollen

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HI @JeffH, I have had a good learning exersise regarding slime outs, unfortunatly the bees were the ones put out, litterally, from this. The last lot that left wasn’t from a slime-out rather the sheer number of SHB present in the hive. I had been very careful not to spill nor leave dead bees in the hive, I believe that there were just too many plus adding the chemical strips for varroa detection that the DPI had put in along with me having to remove the super frames and leaving the super inplace as instructed by the DPI. In all the hive was, as I understand healthy, there were mostly a large number bearding from the bottom board at the entrance and often remaining there through the night. I had earlier removed the drone cells I could find.
I am up to removing the wax from the frames, I find it interesting the brood cell linings. I think you had said that you melt it all up together, is this correct? How do you go about cleaning it up or does that just happen through the melting process? and lastly prior to reusing the frames do you treat them in anyway or just give them a good scraping?
Thanks again.

Hi Ian, removing drone cells is a temporary fix, on account that bees will replace them. I like to have all of my brood frames at around 95-100% worker comb. That way you get a strong workforce.

The bees must have absconded in anticipation of a slime-out.

Yes I melt the wax, muck & all with water. My bin holds about 15L. I always put about 4L of water in to boil with the wax, otherwise the wax will burn & discolor. After the whole lot comes to the boil, I pout it all through a strainer into a plastic wax mold, before working the slumgum with a spoon so as to get every bit of wax out, while it’s still boiling hot. After it all cools, I remove the block of wax, which will have a thin scum on the bottom, which I remove with a soup spoon after warming it up in the sun for a little while. Those scrapings go back into the bin for next time.

That process cleans the wax up, as long as it all boils for a few minutes before pouring it.

I give the frames a good scraping. I guess if the frames got slime onto the wood, you could clean them with hot water & detergent, baring in mind that beetle slime is a bee repellent. Therefore anything we can do to make the frames more appealing will help with the next colony.

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