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Author Topic: Chalkbrood - is it really genetic?  (Read 1463 times)

Offline chriso38

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Chalkbrood - is it really genetic?
« on: May 07, 2014, 12:32:19 AM »
Well Ive just about had enough... I have been dealing with chalkbrood for the last 4 months, people say re-queen... well I did that and still got issues... even my strongest breeder hive some 3 yrs old has never had chalkbrood ever! so I raised my own queens from that hive and re queened with those queens I raised. nope still chalk brood. now I have just seen chalkbrood in my strongest hive..
I have cut out a hive from a tree over Christmas, found the queen ect ect.. examined the combs for any evidence of chalkbrood, put them in a hive and guess what... yep chalkbrood.. So some people say its genetic.. well im not so sure.. .Because  I have not seen chalkbrood in my strongest hive ever, and the cut out hive did not have it either! So I have started experimenting, I have gone to the extreme of changing out the old combs, bashing the bees out of the box, and  using combs that I have frozen from the last time I extracted honey ( clean white drawn wax) and of coarse a queen cell. and yep you guessed it, still chalkbrood!!!
Even the hives that don't block the vent holes in the lid still get it. I thought I was the cause, spreading it, but I sterilize my hive tool with a blow torch and spray my gloves with alcohol, before I move to another hive.. And all the hives are in the sun..?
Going to try a hive out with no bottom board to let the chalkbrood fall out on the ground and stop the spore count from rising from bees trying to remove the mummies out of the hive and then going back on to the combs..  Does anyone have any other ideas? tips ?Thanks in advance!

Offline bunyip

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Re: Chalkbrood - is it really genetic?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 02:52:02 AM »
Hi Chris I had the same problem and an old beekeeper told me to use a bananapeel on top of the hivemat, and guess it worked the chalkbrood was gone within a few months.

Offline Lone

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Re: Chalkbrood - is it really genetic?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 02:52:43 AM »
No, not genetic, it's fungal.  The reason people suggest requeening is that it usually only occurs in a weaker hive, and you assume that a new young queen will make plenty of brood and build the bee population up till the chalkbrood is cleaned out of the hive.  Queens bred for hygienic behaviour might help.

You obviously have a huge reservoir of the disease somewhere.  Keep trying those measures you are using like not sharing equipment between infected and clean hives.  I'd have to research how to clean it out of wooden ware, but make sure hives are well cleaned before introducing a new colony. I'd try bleach at least. If you have two hive sites then keep the clean ones away from the others.  Chalkbrood really comes and goes.  You will notice more in wet weather etc.  Limit space, take supers off if you have to.  The spores are going to be in the hive body, so introducing clean comb will not help.  The good thing is it's not usually a serious disease.

Offline kalium

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Re: Chalkbrood - is it really genetic?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 03:36:10 AM »

Offline OldMech

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Re: Chalkbrood - is it really genetic?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 11:45:44 AM »
As far as I know, there is no effective treatment other than management practices...   I have had it once...  Actually, My BEES had it once, I didnt get it thankfully...   I dont use screened bottom boards, so I just opened the lower entrance all the way. I shimmed the inner cover with Popsicle sticks and propped the tele cover open for the best ventilation.. my hives are placed in full sun..  I put syrup with HBH on the infected hives, and I also brought two frames of capped brood from another hive and placed in each of the infected hives. Both in an effort to strengthen the hives numbers. Stronger hives seem to resist chalkbrood better than weaker hives. It took about a month and a half to see the last signs of it vanish...
   Sounds like your doing everything right, I wish I could offer more or better advice. Keep after it, you'll kick it eventually! 
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline kathyp

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Re: Chalkbrood - is it really genetic?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2014, 12:00:54 PM »
lone is right and so treat it as you would any fungus. 

i had it once bad enough to take down the hive.  no other hive was infected and no measures i took helped until i read some obscure paper about raising the temp in the hive.
instead of ventilating as i had bee...thinking fungus like dark and moist, i closed all but a very small opening and got the temp up as high in the hive as the sun would allow.  it really did seem to help a lot.  unfortunately, we don't get the very high temps here...and you are heading into your fall?

that's the only thing i found that kind of worked...and then i bleach dipped all my comb and boxes after losing that hive eventually.  reused the old stuff and never had a problem with it.  don't know if i'd do that today, but didn't know any better then  :-D
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Offline jayj200

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Re: Chalkbrood - is it really genetic?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2014, 09:06:58 PM »

some Sweeds have found this works

"New Treatment for AFB and EFB Developed in Sweden http://ning.it/1eTSHTq"


Offline Aus-bee

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Re: Chalkbrood - is it really genetic?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2014, 05:19:58 AM »
Although Chalkbrood is caused by a fungus susceptibility to it is partly determined by the genetics of the queen. In the US Chalkbrood is now almost unheard of since queen rearers dispose of any colony/nuc holding a new queen that shows any signs of Chalkbrood. By removing these queens they have managed to breed queens that lay workers that are highly resistant to the fungus.

Online Michael Bush

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