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Chalkbrood in really weak hive


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.


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.


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


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


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.