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Author Topic: Chalkbrooooooood?!?!?!?!?!?!  (Read 1703 times)
joker1656
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« on: June 25, 2009, 09:05:25 AM »

I am researching this on my own, and asked an old-time beek to give me a hand, but what do you do about CHALKBROOD?  I went through my hives last night, and I am 99% sure one of them has chalkbrood.  One of the frames had several cells with a white shell-like stuff in them.  I looked online at pics and sure enough, it looks like chalkbrood. 

This hive is from a nuc I purchased from a local commercial guy.  Great guy, and my other nucs from him seem to be fine.  Is this disease, if that is what they have, easily spread?  Are all of my hives going to be wiped out? 

So far, it looks like all of my other hives are free of any indication of this disease.  I hope it stays that way.  I have stayed out of them for awhile, because I was in them too much in the beginning.  Now I feel like I went too far the other way.  DANG!

 
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 09:19:59 AM »

do not panic!  get your towel.

first, chalkbrood is rarely going to kill off a hive.  it can reduce numbers if it gets bad enough.  there's not a real cure for it, but good ventilation seems to help.   some recommend requeening, i have not found that to be helpful;  in fact, it makes little sense except to make sure that you have a good strong queen to outlay the loss.  chalkbrood is a fungus so to the extent that you can control the conditions that support fungal growth, you can control the chalk brook...hopefully.

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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 11:14:43 AM »

Here in the Northeast,  the nasty weather has led to more chalkbrood than usual.  Nucs are especially vulnerable as they don't have the shear numbers to cover a lot of brood and it easily gets chilled.   Reduce them down as much as possible so they don't have a lot of unused space to keep warm.   Sometimes feeding syrup also helps.   Once they get built up in numbers, they will most likely be OK.
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joker1656
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 10:50:09 PM »

Okay, from what most of you said, this is not a huge issue.  If I understood you correctly.  Should I remove the infected frame, or let the bees do their thing?  I am feeding them, and I thought I would let them have a chance, since it is not evident on every frame.... only one that I could see, anyway.

From what I found, there is no treatment, other than strengthening the colony.  Re-queening was also mentioned.  I have a local, longtime, and knowledgable beek coming over next week.  Hopefully we can figure something out together. 

Thanks to all, for your advice. 

Joker 
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2009, 07:30:55 AM »

If it is not like the whole frame, I would just leave it, they will clean it out.
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joker1656
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2009, 02:08:47 PM »

It is maybe 10-15 cells....at most. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 12:39:51 PM »

Let them be,  they will clear it out.
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joker1656
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2009, 02:30:53 PM »

Thanks, Robo.  I will.  I appreicate the advice.   
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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2009, 02:37:23 PM »

do watch it though.  i lost a hive that had chalkbrood really bad.  tried a bunch of stuff and couldn't clear it up.  i posted about it either last year or the year before. 

it was an extreme case, but it can happen.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
joker1656
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2009, 06:01:42 PM »

Well, I think this is a good sign.  I left that hive alone, other than feeding it, and propping the lid about a 1/4 inch.  When I checked their syrup level todya, I peeked at a few frames.  I did not take the hive apart and do a complete inspect, but the frames from the top box looked good.  Brand new comb (wasnt all drawn last time), eggs, and tiny larvae.  I will keep feed on and check thoroughly in about a week.  I guess that is a good sign.

Thanks for the advice!   
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2009, 10:02:56 AM »

If you are seeing piles of mummies on the bottom board or in front of the hive, then I'd consider requeening at the first possible opportunity.  I had a hive that had it bad, and a new queen cleared it up (it still took a while).

Most of the time it is related to humidity, but occasionally bad genetics can let it get out of hand.

If you are feeding anyway, a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in the syrup wouldn't hurt and could help with it.
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Rick
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