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Author Topic: Diagnose my brood patterns  (Read 547 times)

Offline BurleyBee

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Diagnose my brood patterns
« on: September 05, 2020, 12:53:34 pm »
I still don?t understand a lot when it comes to brood patterns.  I also have read that during summer dearth that patterns can change.  Would just like some input in what y?all think.


First one here is from a Nuc that was a walk away split.  New laying queen.  Pattern is spotty and looks to have some discoloring in some brood.



2nd is from a hive that?s been pissing me off for a year.  It?s turned over a few queens.  I even bought a queen at one point but she was superceeded.   She?s obviously laying well but should I be concerned with pattern at all?





Online TheHoneyPump

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Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2020, 04:00:41 pm »
Healthy natural brood is a tight pattern. There are various causes for a spotty pattern, not all of them are bad news.  To figure out which one(s) are causing it is a process of elimination.  Once you have determined the one or few possibilities left act on those.  Here are some generalities to start your process of elimination. 

- old queen. Running out of viable sperm. Unviable eggs are removed by the bees.  Leaves a spotty pattern behind.  For example, she lays 1000 eggs but 600 of them are rejected - what does that look like after she left that frame. 
- poorly mated queen.  Same symptoms as an old queen
- injury or disability queen. Chewed leg, limp leg, etc.  Examine her closely for all properly working parts.  Same symptoms as old queen.
- poor nutrition, starving larvae
- bee age imbalance. Not enough nurse bees. Starving larvae.
- heavy pollen or nectar flow. Blocking out cells that are available to the queen. She lays where she can in between cells that have deposits.
- any multitude of brood diseases
- parasites
- Discolouration of larvae is bacterial or viral.  Puffy fuzzy larvae is fungal.
- Dead larvae before capping is EFB, viral, or fungal.
- Dead larvae after capping is AFB or varroa. 

Brood with all cells filled but different ages scattered throughout it.  A good queen but presence of a brood disease.

Based on your picture of the first hive, call it EFB and proceed accordingly. 

Based on your picture of the second hive, call it a case of EFB that is clearing, or call it parasitic mite syndrome (varroa) and proceed accordingly.

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 04:42:34 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2020, 04:38:25 pm »
Healthy natural brood is a tight pattern. There are various causes for a spotty pattern, not all of them are bad news.  To figure out which one(s) are causing it is a process of elimination.  Once you have determined the one or few possibilities left act on those.  Here are some generalities to start your process of elimination. 

- old queen. Running out of viable sperm. Unviable eggs are removed by the bees.  Leaves a spotty pattern behind.
- poorly mated queen.  Same symptoms as an old queen
- injury or disability queen. Chewed leg, limp leg, etc.  Examine her closely for all properly working parts.  Same symptoms as old queen.
- poor nutrition, starving larvae
- bee age imbalance. Not enough nurse bees. Starving larvae.
- heavy pollen or nectar flow. Blocking out cells that are available to the queen.
- any multitude of brood diseases
- parasites
- Discolouration of larvae is bacterial or viral.  Puffy fuzzy larvae is fungal.
- Dead larvae before capping is EFB, viral, or fungal.
- Dead larvae after capping is AFB or varroa. 

Brood with all cells filled but different ages scattered throughout it.  A good queen but presence of a brood disease.

Based on your picture of the first hive, call it EFB and proceed accordingly. 

Based on your picture of the second hive, call it a case of EFB that is clearing, or call it parasitic mite syndrome (varroa) and proceed accordingly.

Hope that helps!
Great overview, HP!
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2020, 05:32:23 pm »
Impressive HP, good response as usual I might add.

Mr. BurleyBee, second pic is very clear, well focused.  I like the camera, Impressive!!!  I see pearl white larva, backfilling with nectar.  The brood looks good to my eyes.  I am not concerned with the brood pattern this time of year in the very clear second pic.

The first pic, the split, has discolored brood as you correctly noted.  The pic is not as clear as the second picture.  The first pic indicates an issue with larva.  As HP texted, brownish colored larval leads me to think European Foul Brood or some other issue as the focus is not very clear.

I would remove the EFB frames as the least measure or seal and destroy the hive as the most aggressive step.  There is antibiotic treatment but  I do not use.  Others would have to advise on the use of antibiotics.

Best to your bees.

Van
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2020, 07:37:44 am »
I will go with HP and EFB.
You can use Terramycin mixed in icing sugar or syrup.
Easy fix but at your stage of the season after treatment the hive can be given a couple of extra frames of brood to catch it up.
We often find EFB will show up when the nutrition is down. Usually only a small % of hives effected, 2-4% but maybe that is because we find them before it gets worse.

Offline BurleyBee

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2020, 10:43:58 am »
Thank you all for the responses.  Always very helpful.

Offline BurleyBee

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2020, 11:21:23 am »
Here?s a more clean pic


Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2020, 11:53:23 am »
Good pic, Mr. BurleyBee.  Some larva on end, not laying down,  the most striking is WHERE IS THE LARVA FOOD?

The larva should be surrounded by food, in a puddle of food.  Does this hive have stores, food?

The queen is doing a good job of laying.

Let me see if I can find and post a frame of larva with proper food in the cell.  I?ll post if I can find.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2020, 11:55:59 am »
[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Clearly one can see the puddle of food below the larva.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2020, 12:01:32 pm »
My error, tried to insert to large a file, pic.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline BurleyBee

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2020, 12:12:55 pm »
They have a frame of pollen/honey, but you?re right.  I didn?t notice how dry they are.  Goldenrod is popping up everywhere so I backed off syrup and patties. 

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2020, 12:30:11 pm »
This topic is clearly a grand opportunity for education. And education is what I need! lol. I see what you, Mr Van and Burley, are talking about as I compare your pictures. Therefore I have a question regarding no food and food associated with EFB and just simple starving larvae. In a colony which may be affected by EFB, will the larvae still be brown yet having jelly (food), or will it yet look the same as these pictures posted by Burley, appearing to have no or little food, even though food is available such as in this case? In other words will the picture still be the same as when the hive is affected by EFB as we see here, appearing to have no food for the larvae even when food is available?




                                                                                                                                                                                .
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 12:41:32 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2020, 01:25:27 pm »
With 2nd pic from BurleyBee, I see larva floating in food.  The split hive, first pic, the one with brown larva, I see no food in larva cells as in the very clear third pic from BurleyBee.

So your question Mr. BenFramed: is it starvation or EFB or combination of both?  I leave that question to those more knowledgeable than I.  I have never seen EFB except in pics.  I hope I never do see EFB up close and personal,

HoneyPump or OldBeavo can answer the question.

I have never seen larva standing upright before, that is nurse bee preparing to remove dead
larva, although the dead larva is mostly white.  I am not talking about larva preparing to undergo polymorphism standing upright, I am seeing young larva standing upright.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 01:40:37 pm by van from Arkansas »
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2020, 01:45:08 pm »
With 2nd pic from BurleyBee, I see larva floating in food.  The split hive, first pic, the one with brown larva, I see no food in larva cells as in the very clear third pic from BurleyBee.

So your question Mr. BenFramed: is it starvation or EFB or combination of both?  I leave that question to those more knowledgeable than I.  I have never seen EFB except in pics.  I hope I never do see EFB up close and personal,

HoneyPump or OldBeavo can answer the question.

I have never seen larva standing upright before, that is nurse bee preparing to remove dead
larva, although the dead larva is mostly white.

Thank you Mr Van actually my question is more so posted as a what if question. Directed at you more experienced keepers such as the ones you mentioned and others you may not have mentioned.  And yes Sir, I would like to know if it is starvation or EFB is the problem here, but even more importantly to me is a What if it is EFB question. Per the example question in reply 11. When EFB does appear, does it appear with seemly no food (jelly), even when food is available? I am getting the perception that this may be the case, it may appear as starvation, even though pollen and food is in the hive?  I would like to be clear in my learning what the answer is before I file it in my mind as fact. 😊😁  Thanks for you patience.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2020, 01:55:52 pm »
Phil, you can ask some of the dog gonest questions.  [old beavo, I am using slang]You are a real original thinker, BenFramed.  Good question, Buddy.  I dunno? As they say in the Ozarks.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2020, 04:29:40 pm »
Phil, you can ask some of the dog gonest questions.  [old beavo, I am using slang]You are a real original thinker, BenFramed.  Good question, Buddy.  I dunno? As they say in the Ozarks.

Thanks, trying to learn. 😁😁
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2020, 04:59:47 pm »
EFB is a mixed concoction of bacteria with a few specific dominant signature strains.  The bacterial soup gives the off colour, and it out competes the larvae for food. The larvae die of starvation. Yes, it often appears as starving larvae which do wriggle and curl and climb as they are searching for every lick of food they can get. Further a hive that is malnourished or low on incoming resources (dearth) will be further stressed, by lack of food and competition by the infection, resulting in wider spread outbreak. As the infection spreads, the bees cannot keep up with cleaning and what ends up is dead drying larvae that starts to appear to the novice eye as chalk brood.  It is not CB. The underlying cause is EFB. If a hive had successfully cleared itself of EFB but the pathogen is still present, then in the next dearth there can be a recurrence.

The primary fix for EFB is FEED high sugar and protein, LOTS. The bees can usually overcome it themselves. The first cycle of larvae/pupae that survive will be weak and short lived. The subsequent cycles will be stronger, longer lived, and the infection clears over time with good abundant nutrition and good weather. If nutrition and/or weather are not cooperative, or the infection is widespread over a threshold, then the hive will not recover it will crash.  Be mindful of the state and scope of the infection, it may be necessary to prescribe antibiotics to get the hive above the recoverable threshold.

Hope that helps!

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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2020, 05:03:48 pm »
EFB is a mixed concoction of bacteria with a few specific dominant signature strains.  The bacteria out competes the larvae for food. The larvae die of starvation.  Yes, it often appears as starving larvae which do wriggle and curl and climb as they are searching for every lick of food they can get.  Further a hive that is malnourished or low on incoming resources (dearth) will be further stressed, by lack of food and competition by the infection, resulting in wider spread outbreak.  If a hive had cleared itself of EFB but the pathogen is still present, then in the next dearth there can be a recurrence.

The primary fix for EFB is FEED high sugar and protein, LOTS. The bees can usually overcome it themselves. The first cycle of larvae/pupae that survive will be weak and short lived. The subsequent cycles will be stronger, longer lived, and the infection clears over time with good abundant nutrition and good weather. If nutrition and/or weather are not cooperative, or the infection is widespread over a threshold, then the hive will not recover it will crash.  Be mindful of the state and scope of the infection, it may be necessary to prescribe antibiotics to get the hive above the recoverable threshold.

Hope that helps!

> Hope that helps!

More than I know how to express. Thank you very much.   :happy:
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2020, 06:14:24 pm »
As our bees are not home or close so we tend to go for the quick fix, last case of EFB the bees were 200 miles away pollinating.
We had 2 hives in 120 that were effected and were treated with Terramycin and recovered very quick. The bees had been put on canola so pollen and nectar were plentiful.

Offline Troutdog

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2020, 09:49:43 pm »
Takes a year of antibiotics fall spring, post honey, fall again to cure. Solution is dilution. Like OB said lots of food.
Glacial acetic acid on frames in stored equipment.
Ozone works as well.
Wash your hive tools or torch em before each hive.
If severe requeen and put colony on foundation next spring.

Bees are great, taking care of em not so much. Lol.

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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2020, 06:56:25 am »
In my experience curing EFB is a one hit job. It may depend on the dose of antibiotic and also what antibiotic you are using.
We only treat the affected hive/s. Some BK's will treat the apiary effected.

Offline BurleyBee

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2020, 06:02:09 pm »
Update.  I shook 3 frames of nurse bees in, added a big capped brood frame,  a frame of drawn comb, pollen Pattie, and syrup.  They look much better. 



Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2020, 11:13:41 pm »
This looks much better to me.  I see the ''wet look" of healthy larvae here. Looks to be evenly laid out also. Best I can tell the surrounding younger larvae is in place also though it is hard to see as the outer larvae is out of the center of the picture. I am thinking this is much better than what you posted before. I am interested in the feedback of our seasoned and experienced bee folks.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: Diagnose my brood patterns
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2020, 04:38:09 pm »
Good move. Definitely helped. Picture looks like the beginnings of recovery.  Basically, it looks like the 2nd picture of the first post.  You will still see some scattering of capped vs open at various ages for a couple brood cycles (3 to 5 weeks).  If it is not right and tight by then, an underlying problem will still be lingering.
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