Chalk Brood.

chalk brood

Across the entrance is a series of light to dark grey pupae, like white little mummies. This is 'chalk brood' a fungal infection of the larvae & pupae. Lower temperatures encourage chalk brood. Especially in the spring the smaller adult workforce can not maintain the brood nest temperature. The spores can live in old equipment and be passed on. Consider destroying a frame which is heavily dotted with "mummies". (Shake off the bees at the front entrance & depose of the frame.)

There is no formal chemical treatment just good bee keeping practice;

  • Continually replace old comb with new foundation
  • Tilt each hive forward a bit so rainwater won't run inside on the bottom board.
  • Choose dry & sunny apiary location / hives off the ground
  • hygienic bees are protective
Honeybee book

If you see chalk brood – don't panic. Clean off the entrance and the bottom board. See if it is isolated to just one or two frames. A small number will be cleaned up by the bees and the disease disappears as the hive grows stronger.

To learn more, order a copy of Honeybee diseases and pests from CAPA publications.

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