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Author Topic: 'Normal' brood decomposition - not AFB (I hope)  (Read 877 times)
OzBuzz
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« on: September 03, 2010, 08:52:32 AM »

Hi Everybody,

I did a cutout a few weeks ago with a fellow beek here in Australia! it was huge (see some pics in the Beekeeping Downunder forum). Anyway, i filled two 5 frame nucs with comb, some honey and brood, and made it a double (two five frame boxes on top of each other). We didnt find the queen so i introduced a Kangaroo Island Ligurian.

Today i inspected the hive and the bottom fve frames had been cleaned out of all honey and all the bees had clustered in the top box. So i removed all the empty comb and consolidated it all in to one box coz i figured it would be easier for the cluster to keep it warm. I found the queen, she was ok, and had been laying a little... In the comb that had been emptied in the bottom super there was some old brood, i think it may have been in there when we did the cutout but i can't be 100% sure! anyway it had died because the cluster wasnt around it so it got chilled. I had noticed that it had rotted... some had turned brown and liquid like, mushy, i pushed a match in to the cells and there was absolutely no stringiness that, i believe, is one of the indicators of AFB. There was also some dead capped brood: the cappings were whole, and when i removed some of them the actual bees appeared fine.

Is it normal for dead pupae to go mushy and rot and even let off a little odour? as mentioned there was absolutely no stringiness or brown scales in the cells, no chewing through on the cappings, no depression...

What does AFB dead brood smell like?

Any advce is greatly appreciated...
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caticind
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 10:51:18 AM »

The classic description of AFB stench is "chickenhouse".  It smells like rot, plain and simple.

What you're describing visually, though, sounds more like chilled brood going bad.  Sounds like your cluster is too small to cover the bottom box.  If it's actually empty, maybe you should consider removing the box, leaving the cluster with just the top one they are able to cover.

Do they have enough food?  If they cleaned out the bottom box, is there any in the top?  You're approaching spring down there, right?
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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
OzBuzz
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 10:58:32 AM »

Phew  Smiley it does sound like the chilled brood going bad scenario... I have removed the top super and moved the top frames in to the bottom body. Although they have been bringing in nectar I'm going to set up a feeder tomorrow with 2:1 to give them a hand and stimulate some laying to boost numbers... We are in spring but nights are still cold-plenty of flowers now though!
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hardwood
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 06:34:04 PM »

Anytime you do a cut out you're going to kill brood...it's unavoidable. The bees usually will clear it out within a couple of days. Maybe your season is not allowing them to do that yet??

Scott
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L Daxon
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2010, 12:19:25 PM »

If you want to stimulate brood production, you should use 1:1 syrup instead of 2:1.  It is understanding that 1:1 is best in the spring for brood an comb production and 2:1 is best in the fall to beef up winter honey/food storage.
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linda d
OzBuzz
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 02:39:03 AM »

Thanks Idaxon - i threw some 1:1 on it yesterday and hopefully they will start using it pretty quickly
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 06:53:05 AM »

I did a Holts Milk Test in the cutout hive and it was negative-anybody found this test useful as a field guide?
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