My second hive isn't doing so hot - help!

Hello! New beekeeper here. Hoping ya’ll can help me on my journey. My husband and I have two hives. One is thriving and growing really fast. We just put a second brood hive on and it already has 4 full frames in a week. And the other one hasn’t made progress in weeks. They have about 5.5 full frames out of 10 (single brood box).

We live in Montana if that makes any difference. It was cool in June but now the temps are in the 80s. I have attached some photos of the hive that is unchanged and dwindling in numbers below. We are worried some of the larva is dying. If we look closely, it appears some larva are shriveled up and black in color. And the capping seems sparse. Looking today, we did not see the queen and we looked pretty hard. Could the queen have died? Do they have a virus? We see a queen cell but can’t tell if there is a larva inside or not.

Thank you ahead of time for you thoughts!

That photo is a bit disturbing. Have any of the brood turned into a dark chocolate syrup on the bottom of the cells? If so, you could have a foul brood disease. I dare say that those black larvae will get smelly in time, if it hasn’t already done so. Can you get a photo looking down into the brood?

If there is a dark chocolate syrup looking substance on the bottom of the cells, poke it with a match, before gently withdrawing it. If the substance lets go of the match, you could have EFB (European Foul Brood). If the substance hangs on to the match & becomes ropy, that could indicate AFB (American Foul Brood).

Either way, you need to use extreme caution to make sure you don’t contaminate the good hive, on account that both diseases are very contagious.

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