Tuesday, April 26, 2011

First Split Update

Well i inspected a few hives yesterday, mostly i was looking to see if the splits i couldn't find signs of queens a few weeks ago were in fact queen less (i only got around to one of those). Well in fact one hive was queen less and full of bees, i had another split that was weak on bees but had a laying queen so i combined them. I still have 2 more "questionable" hives left to inspect again, but currently i have 29 hives and only 1 verified unsuccessful mating from my 8 splits in March, not a bad average as i only assume 80% will mate and return.

I did inspect a few more hives while i was at it, all are doing well except one, one has tons of brood and bees a solid deep and medium of bees in fact but has the worst case of chalk brood i have seen, although not as bad as pictures etc, but the worst case i have personally seen. I don't worry too much about chalk brood as usually its related to moisture and or temps, but in this case i am hedging my bet on moisture, i don't ventilate the tops and maybe this hive just needs a little ventilation to remove the moisture. I am thinking that the hive started out with chilled brood which then led to chalk brood (really the same thing), but due to excess moisture the hive hasn't been able to overcome the issue on its own like typical. The only real remedy for chalk brood is placing the hive in full sun (already is), reduce stress (none known), ventilate (plan on it), and or re-queen. i doubt it is the queen as i have never seen it in my hives other than chilled brood which usually i create via splitting early and heavy, so i doubt my issue is with the queen. So i will ventilate and watch. i assume i can fix this and move on. They have tons of brood, its just spotty with chalk brood, so the population can increase just not like it should...

Just figure i would fill everyone in on whats going on, a little education on chalk brood, and use my issues for your learning experience. Most people don't share their issues, but i find we can only learn from each other, and if we don't share both our good and bad stores we will all repeat them...

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