Health of your Hive & Treatments
European Foulbrood: Larvae die in a coiled, twisted, or irregular position in their cells. Cells are usually uncapped. Larvae color may change from light cream to grayish brown, darkening as the dead larvae dry up. Sour odor may be present. Dead larvae are not ropy as in American Foulbrood. Recommended treatment: Treat with Terramycin.
American Foulbrood: Brood pattern is irregular rather than compact. Healthy larvae are glistening white color; diseased ones lose this appearance, and turn from light brown to dark brown and are upright, not twisted in cells. Larvae long dead develop the consistency of glue and are difficult for bees to remove. Cappings become concave. Some will be punctured by bees attempting to remove the dead brood but are unable to do so. Surface of cappings will be moist or wet rather than dry. Some dead pupae, shrunken into scales, have their tongues protruding at right angle to their scale or straight up. This may be the only recognizable characteristic. Recommended Treatment: Treat with Terramycin, and or eliminate hive and sanitize tools that touched the hive.
Tracheal Mite: Very hard to detect without dissection. If you notice bees disappearing from your hive you may want your State Inspector to test your bees for this mite. Recommended Treatment: Is best to treat this on a preventative measure by using menthol products, one bag per hive in spring and fall before and after honey flow.
Varroa Mites: Infested capped drone brood. Disfigured adult bees, deformed legs or wings. *Bees discarding larvae and pupae. Pale or dark reddish brown spots on other wise white pupae. Visible on the outside of bee. Spotty brood pattern. Or check your capped drone brood by prematuring opening the brood and looking for pindrop size mites. Younger mites will be light brown and clear color. Adolesent mites are slightly smaller. Recommended Treatment: There are many treatments that control the mite. There are Drench methods, Formic acid pad, Grease patties, Tape Strips, Powder Sugar, and others. Many control but it’s nearly impossible to eliminate this pest.
Nosema Disease: Bees unable to fly or able to fly only short distances. Bees seen trembling and quivering, colony restless. Feces on combs, bottom boards, and outside walls of hive. Bees seen crawling aimlessly on bottom board, near entrance, or on ground; some dragging along as if their legs are paralyzed Wings positioned at various angles from body – not folded in normal position over abdomen. Abdomen distended (swollen). When bee is dissected, midgut is swollen, dull, grayish white color and circular constructions of gut are no longer evident; normal gut color is brownish red or yellowish, with many circular constructions.
Recommended Treatment: At this time Nozevit and Fumagilin®-B mixed in and sugar are recorded as effective.
Wax Moths: Tunnels in combs. Silk trails, crisscrossing one another over combs. * Small dark objects (excrement of wax moth larvae) in the silk trails in a hive. Silk cocoons attached to wooden parts. Destroyed comb, piles of debris on bottom board. A strong hive usually controls moths without assistance. Remove any unnecessary supers or brood boxes so they have less area to defend. Recommended Treatment: You can buy moth repelling tools from suppliers. Keep your equipment sealed up and or wrapped up to keep pest out.
Chalkbrood: Mummified bodies of brood can often be seen in cells, on bottom boards, or at the hive entrance. This is very rare. Recommended Treatment: Recommended Treatment: There is no registered control agent for use against chalkbrood disease in Canada or the U.S. Although most reports indicate that chalkbrood doese not cause serious econmomic losses, diseased colonies can have reduced populations and reduced honey production. Since adult bees can remove chalkbrood mummies, the disease often disappears as colonies increase in population and/or nectar flow commences.
Hive Beetle: White egg masses deposited by the adult female into crevices within the hive. Larvae tunnel through the combs, killing brood and ruining newly drawn comb. Cream-colored larvae feed on pollen and honey for 10-16 days before exiting the hive to pupate in the soil around the hive. Pupae are light tan to bluish tan in color. Winged adults emerge from the soil in 2-3 weeks, re-enter the hive to feed and reproduce. Life span is up to 6 months. Recommended Treatment: You a couple of choices. Check with your bee supplier. If you live in a Northern climate the beetle will not make it threw winter and won’t come back.