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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After saying something about genetics in a different post, this is something that I have seen this summer.
Chalkbrood as I have always understood it is caused by stress due to a lack of something, minerals, ventilation, poor food quality, ect.
I have a hive that has periodically had chalkbrood. It still maintains strong bee numbers. Swarmed twice in three years. Having made three queenless splits from this hive, two last year and one this year, all have chalkbrood. That leads me to believe that genetics also has something to do with chalkbrood.
 

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It was my understanding that chalkbrood is caused by a fungus that is easily carried and so is considered to be infectious. I don't remember having read anything that suggests that chalkbrood is genetic at all, but knowing a little bit about how infectious diseases spread I guess you could call it that to a point.

I can't help but wonder if the recurrences would be stopped by simply feeding sugar syrup with a bit of colloidal silver added.
 

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U of Minnesota has an online "course" about bee health. From what is listed, chalkbrood is a fungus, Ascosphaera apis and, as Mama Beek said, is highly infectious.

U of M recommends "don't ever raise queens from colonies that have chalkbrood."

They go on to explain that "...larva are fed infectious, fungal spores. Spores germinate in larval gut...Larva do not show symptoms until they are sealed under a capped cell...Infected larva die 1-2 days after being sealed."

One caution is noted: "Spores in mummies remain active and infectious for years."

They go on with recommendations of changing out old comb, breezy and dry conditions (not too difficult here in Texas), hygienic queens and a few others.

There, I didn't waste my $25 fee! ;)

Walt
 

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It has been recommended for years that colonies cronically infected w/ chalkbrood be requeened. I suspect that this is to get better house cleaners into the colony.

I see chalkbrood in my hives every spring. But, after being in NY for a period of time, it goes away. So, I imagine that the environment in which the hives exist has something to do w/ whether the fungus can grow and reproduce successfully.

While on fungii, I learned this last week that the efects fungii present in a hive may be part of what we are calling CCD.
 

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mark writes:
While on fungii, I learned this last week that the efects fungii present in a hive may be part of what we are calling CCD.

tecumseh:
curious cats got to know more. can you comment a bit further?

my understanding of the 'genetic' connection to chalkbrood and sacbrood was in relationship to the hives inability to fulfill essential household chores. the presence of both these diseases (+foulbrood) simply suggest that this genetically determined disposition is not present in the effected hive. in replacing the queen you are 'hoping' the genetically determined house cleaning chores are a bit more present. if you choose a queen from proven hygeneic stock then you have enhance the probabilities of eliminating the problem.
 

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I was always under the understanding that chalkbrood appears more frequently in hives that are kept in moist places in the shade.
 

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I've seen around five or six cases of chalkbrood this year. Two were in swarms that I'd collected but hadn't replaced the queen in yet and the rest were queens that I grafted and open mated right before the citrus bloom when all the cordovan bees from the commercial yard on the citrus near my house were out buzzing around. All of the cases were in full sun right next to my other stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry I didn't get back sooner.
Yes, of course you are right, the underlying cause of chalkbrood is from fungal spores. They are present in almost all hives. Its what predisposes some hives to "get" chalkbrood and some not to, even when side by side that I brought up. I thank Walt B. for that $25. The U of Minn. saying not to requeen from hives that show symptoms leads me to think that the queens will have genetics that are predisposed to chalkbrood.
 
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