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Chalkbrood in really weak hive

#1

Hi there. I have a very small swarm I caught about 6 months ago that have never built up. Enough bees to cover about 3 frames.
Today, on inspection, I found a lot of chalkbrood. The cappings on the brood was also a very dark brown, instead of the usual tan colour.
I just don’t know what to do with these guys. Should I try requeening? I’m hesitant to combine with a stronger hive as I don’t want to spread the fungus.
Ugh! Any advice appreciated! Thanks.

#2

Hi Natalie, you probably should look under the caps of the dark brood just to make sure it is all chalk brood & not something more sinister in conjunction with the chalk brood.

What I would do if it is only chalk brood is help the colony out with a frame of sealed & emerging brood, one every 10 days. You could clean the bottom board as well as reduce the entrance to only a couple of inches. You could position the entrance so that it is not in front of the brood. Assuming the colony doesn’t fill a full brood box, put the colony on one side with the entrance on the opposite side to reduce cold air blowing onto the brood. That’s what I do & I did exactly that with a colony this morning.

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#3

Thanks so much Jeff. I opened a couple of cells that revealed more chalk brood but it’s definitely worth going up with a matchstick to check it out further. Thanks again for your advice. I’ll get onto it in the morning!

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#4

No AFB detected. Thank goodness!
Followed your advice @JeffH. Thanks again!

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#5

That’s good news & you’re welcome Natalie.

#6

If they only cover three frames can you knock up a four frame box? They would be more able to heat and defend it, especially if the entrance is only a 1” hole. I have a range of boxes (four and six frame) for just this problem and find it works really well most times.

Cheers
Rob.

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