I am a newbie. I purchased 4 packages of bees in April. One of the packages died almost immediately. A second is still doing poorly and is in the process of being combined with a swarm that I recently caught. This second package appears to be queenless, thus the combining, with a laying worker.
Anyway, this hive of bees is making me worried. I noticed the last time I opened them up a few cells that had some dark goop. I, at first, thought it was dark pollen that had not been finished. I took a tooth pick and picked at the goop. It was just that, a kind of gray/black sludge. It wasn't ropy, or sticky, just sludge. What could that be? There were several cells like this.
The brood that was present was drone brood. I scraped a cap, or two off and they appeared healthy. I did not see any sunken cappings, but as I said I am a newbie. I could have missed them. I did not see anything else in the hive that gave me any clues.
Could this be AFB? Or possibly SHB feces? Should I be concerned, or wait to see if the swarm gets things on track? The swarm was fairly large and queenright. I have no pics. If anyone has any thoughts, I am open to them. Thanks!