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.
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!