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Author Topic: What are these things?  (Read 568 times)
Drmaz
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Location: near Beaudesert


« on: January 08, 2014, 10:10:46 PM »

I had a day off work today so I was able to go and check out me hive nice and early (I normally leave for work very early in the morning) and I saw these little things off to one side of the entrance. I'm just wondering if it is something I need to worry about or is it just part of their normal house keeping.

Thanks
Stan






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Drmaz
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 10:28:40 PM »

Hi I don't know why there are 3 copies of this post I'm pretty sure I only clicked the creat button once. Sorry I don't mean to clog up the forum.
Cheers
Stan


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Vance G
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 10:52:16 PM »

Looks like stone brood from here.  A bacterial disease or fungal.  It can tend to persist in ancient comb saturated with the pathenogen.  If it is new comb, it may be a moisture problem or a queen who you might think of replacing. 
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Lone
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 11:12:21 PM »

Chalk brood.  It's a fungal infection where the larvae basically turn chalky and are removed by the house keepers.  It occurs more often in weaker hives.  You don't have to worry too much about it.  It usually clears up as the strength of the hive increases.  

What you can do is inspect the brood to determine the extent of the problem.  If there are not too many bees covering the frames, then you could decrease the size of the hive until the numbers have built up sufficiently.  Look at how much brood there is.  You might have a poor queen, or poor foraging conditions. You could add brood frames to increase the population, or requeen.  I never have much success requeening myself, but you have a better chance with a new queen if you are on good honey flow.

If the hive looks otherwise healthy and only a few chalkbrood mummies, then you could just leave it to clear up itself.  You might want to also check if there is a reason the hive is a bit weak, like another disease or pest.  

I'd also put a shelter over the hive from the rain.  It might be a coincidence, but I had my worst case of chalkbrood in wet weather.

Lone
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Lone
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 11:13:15 PM »

Stone brood Vance?  Is that the same as chalk brood?

Sorry, I see it's a different pathogen, but probably similar effect.

Lone
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Drmaz
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 01:33:11 AM »

Hi Lone and Vance

Thanks for your help. I am in SEQ (South East Queensland Australia). I placed my hives where they would get full sun until about mid day then they are in part shade for the rest of the day. I did this as I was concerned about the heat and humidity in summer for example it was 44 degrees C a couple day last week and there where large numbers of bees on the outside of the hive. Should I move my hives into full sun ( all day) or leave them where they are. Do you think it would be a good idea to change my bottom boards from the solid type to the screen type to help with ventilation?


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Lone
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 05:34:44 AM »

Hello Stan,

We had about 2 weeks of >40 C.  All the hives survived though I know of a lot of people who lost stingless beehives.  Here are the DPI recommendations regarding chalkbrood.  http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/animal-industries/bees/diseases-and-pests/chalkbrood  It does mention high and low temperatures which can draw bees away from the brood, as well as other causes of stress.

Most of my hives are situated for morning sun as are yours.  A bit of sun is a good idea for SHB control.  One of my hives is under a tree's shade all day and it has had the biggest bearding of them all, and a couple have no shelter but are doing fine.  The entrance is shaded the hottest part of the day.

I'm not an expert in thermodynamics, but someone in our club uses a fan inside the hive and monitors the temperature and has had high honey yields.  Stingless bee experts have recommended using wet towels over the hives in those extremes of heat.  Some people chock the lid open a bit.  Usually in queensland we use the migratory lids with vent holes back and front.  Usually folks take away the bit of plastic or whatever you put on top of your frames in summer, though that can lead to comb building in the lid.  I don't know anything about screened bottom boards and haven't seen them used in these parts, so I can't advise about that.  I would like to know the pros and cons.   Some people put a lump of iron or something on top of the hive held down with a brick for a little shade in summer as well as protection from the rain.  I wouldn't move your hives out into full sun if I were you.  A little shelter wouldn't hurt.  But checking the strength of your hive is more important as the chalkbrood may not be related to the heat or humidity.

Let us know how it goes.

Lone
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chux
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 08:43:20 AM »

I had a smaller colony suffering from chalk brood this summer. I removed some grass from in front of the entrance to increase airflow. I also cut away some overhanging branches which provided shade, and put in a frame of brood from another hive. In a couple of weeks, there was no sign of chalk brood. I've been told humidity is a big factor.
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rwlaw
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 09:33:23 AM »

I bought a queen that infected, they superceded her and I made sure the hive was out in full sun, the problem went away.
Are your boxes vented at the top? Might try cracking the lid a little to get some air moving thru the hive.
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 11:51:30 AM »

didn't realize you had two posts about this.  left you a note on the other one  grin
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