Things you might see inside your bee hives…
Image from the Beesource Glossary, here:
Open Brood – eggs and young larva
More open brood – older larva
Queen Cells Image linked from : http://beeinformed.org/2011/08/grafting/
Queen cups are queen sized brood comb. Usually when you see them they will be empty – just ready for use if needed. The queen only lays in them when the hive decides to swarm or supercede the old queen. Until then they are not queen cells – only cups.
Linked from – http://www.beesource.com/imgs/barry/efb2.jpg
European foul brood – not to be confused with the much more serious American foul brood – has been very common in our area this year. EFB usually kills brood before it is capped resulting in the spotty capped brood pattern you see in this photo – the capped brood will mostly be alright. The other tell tale sign is the yellow color of the open brood. Healthy open brood should be white not any other color. The larva laying down in the center of the picture is a pretty sure sign of EFB.
Don’t be too alarmed if you find this – you probably will if you have many hives and you look hard. Make sure the hive has plenty of food – a good flow of natural nectar or 1-1 sugar syrup – and it often clears up on it’s own. There are other treatments non-chemical and also antibiotics which are available to treat and prevent this disease. Educate yourself before committing to any regimen.
This disease is most likely to be spread by the bee keeper – don’t transfer combs from hives with discolored or spotty brood.