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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Oops!

I overlooked a critical symptom when I started worrying about AFB. The cells affected were uncapped. This point to the likely senario being that the colony swarmed and with the stress of the lower temperatures the colony has gotten a slight case of sacbrood or EFB (European Foul Brood). EFB doesn't form hard, industructable spores or kill colonies. It only affects a few brood just like sacbrood. Since the larvae die uncapped, the bees are quick to remove them thus, averting any possible major infection. I'll have to deal with the varroa mites, and given the current population is low and there's minimal brood to hide in, treating soon would be ideal. I guess I was just over-reacting to the fact that a colony that was populous and crowded on last inspection, has just become halved in population, many empty cells, and about a super of missing honey. Given there's still a honeyflow going on and a few frames of capped honey they should get along alright untill the next flow. In beekeeping, all you have to do is be a few days late, and you lose an entire crop. I'm just hoping that the new queen will be just as gentle and her mother. Time will tell.

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