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Author Topic: help with possible EFB  (Read 1314 times)
luvin honey
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« on: June 21, 2010, 06:17:17 PM »

Hi everyone---I was sickened to open my hives after 1 month and find a bad brood problem. The capped brood is very, very spotty. The 2 colonies (one Italian, one Carniolan) don't seem to have built up as much as I would have expected. One month ago, the brood pattern was picture perfect. Absolutely tight, eggs from edge to edge, just great.

We have had a lot of rain, storms and drizzle here in WI. I have been feeding sugar syrup, but the bees have also had days here and there to get out and forage. These are two 3# colonies installed the first week of May.

So, I think I have EFB. There are drying larvae, some lengthwise in their cells, many not glistening, not a tight C shape, some dried up and plastered on the edges of their cells. The queens are both laying like crazy. All available cells are full of eggs. I didn't poke capped brood, but I did see a normal bee emerging from under a capping. I poked larger larvae, and it did not string out. No discernible "off" smell to either hive. No queen cells to be found. No apparent problems with the bees, just the larvae.

My questions:
1. Does this sound like EFB?
2. I don't do treatments. Will my bees defeat this on their own?
3. When I read about EFB, it always refers to "stressed" hives developing this. Is near constant rain considered a "stress?" Or, what else could be stressing my bees?
4. What should I do?

Thank you so, so much in advance!
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luvin honey
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2010, 04:57:47 PM »

One more question. I misread a suggestion online and "checkerboarded" the broodnest to make room and prevent swarming. I was probably only supposed to do empty-full-full-empty-full-full. Instead, I did empty bar-full bar-empty bar-full bar. Would this be stressful enough to bring on lower immunity and EFB?

Can anybody help me? Thanks!
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2010, 05:40:04 PM »

I don't know enough about EFB to tell one way or another.  I wouldn't have checkerboarded a new colony at all.   Extended confinement could certainly qualify as a stress especially to a colony that hasn't had the time to store up anything extra.  Checkerboarding such a small hive could be part of the problem.  By spreading the brood nest out it's harder for so few bees to maintain the proper temp etc... over the brood.  I'm not saying that's your problem, just a possible factor to think about.  I'm sure someone with more experience will have some more info for you.

Adam
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2010, 05:35:22 AM »

.
If it is EFB, change the queens. Keep your hives warm and reduce ventilation.
You must have a new genepool which can resist EFB.
Chalk brood is srthe same. It burstes out when weathera are bad.
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deknow
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 07:40:27 AM »

checkerboarding (as advocated by walt wright) is done ABOVE THE BROODNEST NOT IN THE BROODNEST.

without seeing the hives, my guess is that you spead the brood out more than the bees could care for (ie, there are not enough bees to cluster around all the brood in one cluster, and not enough bees to make individual clusters for each frame of brood).

what you are likely seeing is "chilled brood", which isn't surprising given the situation.  if the empty frames are still mostly empty, go into the hives and reconsoldate the broodnest and keep an eye on them.  you could have efb (it is a stress disease), but removing the stress is the most helpful thing you can do.

all this said, if you can find a knowledgeable beekeeper to take a look, that  is better than getting advice on the internet Smiley

deknow
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2010, 03:29:02 AM »

I'm with Dean.  It's probably just chilled brood... and you never want to spread a brood nest too thin.  You can get by with an empty frame in most brood nests in a build up.  You can get by with more in a really strong hive.  But if they can't fill the space quickly with festooning bees, I would not put an empty frame in that space, I'd put things back.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2010, 11:36:18 AM »

Thanks so much for the replies. The thing is, the bees already built out wax on the bars, so there is nothing to consolidate anymore. So what used to be every other empty (dumb me!) is now filled in with wax, including the sick brood.

So, now what?
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deknow
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2010, 01:20:39 PM »

keep an eye on it.  i'd think that within a week or so it should look better.  even if it is an efb infection, efb is present in virtually all hives, and is really an indicator of stress.  the bees will start to consolodate the broodnest themselves, and as the stress is reduced, it should clear up (unless it's reallty bad).

deknow
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luvin honey
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2010, 01:36:14 PM »

Thanks so much! I was so overeager to prevent swarming this year that I think I majorly overdid it. I will leave them alone for a month (is that too long?) and then take a peek again.
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The pedigree of honey
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G3farms
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2010, 08:40:40 PM »

www.extension.org/pages/European_Foulbrood:_A_Bacterial_Disease_Affecting_Honey_Bee_Brood

this will explain EFB very well.

G3
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luvin honey
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2010, 01:14:25 AM »

Thanks much. That was an excellent link! I would love to see pix of chilled brood to know which one I am looking at.

I don't have many resources for requeening, so I think I will see how they handle this on their own. And make a note to self: Checkerboarding is NOT for the broodnest. I seem to have to learn most things the hard way.

Whether EFB or chilled brood, would there be any benefit to my peeking in again in the next 2 weeks? Or would it be best to leave them for a month or more?

Thanks much!
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
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