First inspection - quite a bit of chalk brood

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Oakbear 

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Hi all,

I got my first nuc a week ago, with a mated 2010 queen, and have resisted the urge to inspect until today.
When i bought it i noticed maybe 3 or 4 cells with chalk brood, but thought nothing of it as had been taught this is relatively usual and nothing to worry about.
They were transeferred froma 14x12 brood box into my brood and a half set up (with a mix of standard and 14 x 12 frames)
During the week they have been doing their thing when weather permits, bringing in plenty of pollen and nectar.

I opened up today and the population of adult bees has about doubled!
Lots of eggs and brood at all stages, and a happy looking queen wandering about. They're all nice and calm.
Decent amount of stores too and they're occupying 7 frames, 4 brood, and 3 pollen and nectar.
Thy haven't drawn any significant comb, but there were 2 empty frames of drawn comb which they've moved onto.

But the thing is on each of the brood frames there's maybe 4 or 5 cells with mummified brood in it, on one frame maybe a dozen. The floor is littered with those little chalky lumps.
I can't spot any fluffy mould on any uncapped larvae, but am a newb so may have missed it.

Is it just stress of the move and bad weather, or a dodgy queen?
Or something else?

Any advice how to proceed?
My head says leave them a couple of weeks at least to sort it out, but i wanted opinions to check i shouldn't intervene.

Thanks!
 

Midland Beek 

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Sounds like a bit of chalk brood. And the type of thing that you hope will clear up of its own accord, rather than going to the length of requeening.

If it persists, don't be too upset if that queen swarms next year and disapears over the horizon.
 

oliver90owner 

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As MB. A new queen if it persists as a nuisance. Only thing I disagree with is letting her disappear over the horizon with a sizeable number of your workers.

Think about it. That represents more than a good nucleus after just one brood cycle. Now changing hands at over a hundred quid. If you want me to come and take her away, along with half your bees, and give me a hundred quid, I would quite likely oblige!! For just a little more, I could throw in an alternative queen!

Regards, RAB
 

sputnam 

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Really doesn't sound like excessive amounts of chalk brood. Should be fine.
 

Oakbear 

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Thanks for the reples!

I had assumed it was probably newbie nerves from seeing the floor littered with dead larvae!

I'll see how it goes, and requeen next spring if needed i think.
Shouldn't harm them over winter if she is a messy queen?

I wonder if anyone has treated for chalk brood though?

Anybody have any tips to help get the ladies sorting it out?
 

Polyanwood 

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When I had some a few years ago I was told that once it becomes a strong colony it gets less, which it does. I think it is worth following Finman's advice on avoiding vain space in the hive as he calls it... make sure they don't have excessive amount of air to heat... use dummy boards and don't put on super until hive is strong.
 

Mike a 

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I wonder if anyone has treated for chalk brood though?

Anybody have any tips to help get the ladies sorting it out?
Chalk brood is caused by the fungus Ascosphaera apis


Upto 3 on the frame - I would mist the frame with water first and use a pin to pull out any chalk brood into a plastic bag and remove it from the apiary as not all bees are very hygienic and as the corpse decomposes it will give off spores which is never a good thing if it spreads.

More than 3 - I would remove the frame and replace with brand new. Once at home I would remove the foundation and quickly sear the frame with a blow lamp.
 

m100 

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Chalk brood is caused by the fungus Ascosphaera apis

Upto 3 on the frame - I would mist the frame with water first and use a pin to pull out any chalk brood into a plastic bag and remove it from the apiary as not all bees are very hygienic and as the corpse decomposes it will give off spores which is never a good thing if it spreads.

More than 3 - I would remove the frame and replace with brand new. Once at home I would remove the foundation and quickly sear the frame with a blow lamp.
So you'd loose 2000 perfectly healthy eggs/larvae/sealed brood/potential bees just for the sake of four cells of chalkbrood?

Staggering.
 

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