Chalkbrood

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How did you get on with curing your chalkbrood @Wildflower ?
Thanks for asking Mummzie.
I had to remove a large number of badly infected frames.I also added adult bees, but growth was poor. The hive is now tiny,but with a new queen. I am still removing mummies from base board each week,but hive seems calmer. My other hives also have a small amount of chalkbrood,so,I requeened two of them also.The brood pattern was a bit patchy and I thought best to jump in and enhance with new queen.
Unfortunately during all this muck around,I now have a laying worker hive. Grrr! Beautiful Q cell hatched but didn't return home. I left it queenless too long so now, will have to join this lot with a strong hive so they kill the worker. Is that what you would do Mummsie?
My strongest hive is with a year old queen. Do I paper the hives together under the honey super?
 

Alastair

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Do I paper the hives together under the honey super?

Yes, the two brood boxes should be next to each other, not seperated by honey supers. But also use a queen excluder between the two brood boxes. The purpose being to stop the good queen walking up too soon into unfriendly bees and getting killed.

Paper and excluder them for 3 weeks then remove the excluder and re arrange the hive how you want it.
 
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Yes. But also use a queen excluder. The purpose being to stop the good queen walking up too soon into unfriendly bees and getting killed.

Paper and excluder them for 3 weeks then remove the excluder and re arrange the hive how you want it.
O.k just to confirm...
I will have my 2 QR brood boxes with a QE and paper on top.
( how many sheets please and slits?) Then my small laying worker box on top of this.Then the honey box? If so. How do I stop workers laying in my honey box?
 

Alastair

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Yes that's right.

The configuration from the bottom should be - 2 QR brood boxes. On top of that 2 thicknesses newspaper, with a fingerhole punched in the middle to allow some ventilation plus get combination started. On top of that a queen excluder, then the LW brood box. Then on top of that all honey supers, no newspaper required between those and the LW brood box.

How to stop LW'ers laying in the supers? You can't, just have to wait till they are reverted to normal workers by exposure to brood and queen pheremones, normally takes one to two weeks.

That's as long as it is LW'ers in the supers, not a drone laying queen. Which can be determined by number and placement of eggs in the cells.
 
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Yes that's right.

The configuration from the bottom should be - 2 QR brood boxes. 2 thicknesses newspaper, with a fingerhole punched in the middle to allow some ventilation plus get combination started. On top of that a queen excluder, then the LW brood box. Then on top of that all honey supers, no newspaper required between those and the LW brood box.

How to stop LW'ers laying in the supers? You can't, just have to wait till they are reverted to normal workers by exposure to brood and queen pheremones, normally takes one to two weeks.

That's as long as it is LW'ers in the supers, not a drone laying queen. Which can be determined by number and placement of eggs in the cells.
O.K so this was one of my concerns. Only one egg in each cell. And reasonably central. Haven't seen queen. Have only seen that the Q cell hatched and now all drone brood. How does a Queen become a drone layer? If my hive did happen to have drone laying Queen, I imagine if I found her I would just squash her. Then combine or requeen.
 

Alastair

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Hmm.. One egg per cell and centrally placed would indicate a drone laying queen, not laying workers.

How does a queen become a drone layer? If she has no stored sperm she can only lay unfertilised eggs that will become drones. That can happen to queens when they get old, or to queens that were for some reason unable to mate. Such as, trapped above a queen excluder. One way such can happen is that unknown to the beekeeper the hive has a new virgin queen. The beekeeper opens the hive and the virgin takes flight. The virgin returns but lands in a super, which the beekeeper then places above a queen excluder.

Yes if there is a drone laying queen above the excluder, which sounds likely, if you can find and squash her, problem solved. But they can be hard to find, another method is to put the supers in a wheel barrow and take 20 or 30 meters away from the hive. Shake all the bees onto the grass, and return the supers to the hive. pretty much all the bees except the queen will find their way back to the hive.

If all that fails, do a paper combine as described a few posts ago. Once the bees have sorted themselves out and accepted the good queen, they will often kill the drone layer. Just, don't let the two queens come into contact and fight, the drone layer may sometimes win.
 
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20211203_101453.jpg20211203_115002.jpg20211203_115045.jpg20211203_115107.jpg20211203_115150.jpg20211203_104312.jpg20211203_103944.jpgHmm.. One egg per cell and centrally placed would indicate a drone laying queen, not laying workers.

How does a queen become a drone layer? If she has no stored sperm she can only lay unfertilised eggs that will become drones. That can happen to queens when they get old, or to queens that were for some reason unable to mate. Such as, trapped above a queen excluder. One way such can happen is that unknown to the beekeeper the hive has a new virgin queen. The beekeeper opens the hive and the virgin takes flight. The virgin returns but lands in a super, which the beekeeper then places above a queen excluder.

Yes if there is a drone laying queen above the excluder, which sounds likely, if you can find and squash her, problem solved. But they can be hard to find, another method is to put the supers in a wheel barrow and take 20 or 30 meters away from the hive. Shake all the bees onto the grass, and return the supers to the hive. pretty much all the bees except the queen will find their way back to the hive.

If all that fails, do a paper combine as described a few posts ago. Once the bees have sorted themselves out and accepted the good queen, they will often kill the drone layer. Just, don't let the two queens come into contact and fight, the drone layer may sometimes win.
20211203_101453.jpg20211203_115002.jpg20211203_115045.jpg20211203_115107.jpg20211203_115150.jpg20211203_104312.jpg20211203_103944.jpg
 
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I took camera over to have a proper look. Couldn't see any eggs today! Just the 2 in cell as per pic. Not even sure it is all drone! Looks sick. Might have to get a matchstick to a few cells. Not keen on joining this to another hive at present until I fully diagnose. Was considering giving it a frame of eggs and brood. Any thoughts?
 

Alastair

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Could you uncap a few cells and see if you can find any worker pupae?

Is that comb built on comb foundation or is it natural comb?
 

Mummzie

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Is that what you would do Mummsie?
Alastairs advice beats anything I can offer.

IMO If the LW hive is the one you showed photos of, I agree to have a good look thru for other problems.
If it passes- I would be tempted to go with the dumping out suggestion, and depending on the population of the hives, take the opportunity to retire some of the worst frames, replacing with foundation which should be able to be drawn by now. I suggest this as a way to reduce the chalkbrood spore level in the hive.

Hopefully you will get some other opinions to assist.
 
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Alastairs advice beats anything I can offer.

IMO If the LW hive is the one you showed photos of, I agree to have a good look thru for other problems.
If it passes- I would be tempted to go with the dumping out suggestion, and depending on the population of the hives, take the opportunity to retire some of the worst frames, replacing with foundation which should be able to be drawn by now. I suggest this as a way to reduce the chalkbrood spore level in the hive.

Hopefully you will get some other opinions to assist.
This weeks chance to dive in has dissapeared. Will check thoroughly next week and will either dump, or join? Likely dump to be honest. I don't need the hive. I have 5 others. Will try to keep you posted. Thanks for the advice.
 


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