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16942Replacing old brood combs

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  • mdudley
    Feb 27, 2013
      The Feb issue of American Bee Journal has an interesting article on page 273 titled "Replace those contaminated combs".

      The article describes an apiary where they were having 90% yearly losses, spotty brood and sickly bees. Replacing queens and other normal things did not help. New package bees which came from hives doing well quickly succumbed.

      They eventually sent samples of brood nest combs from hives that died to be analyzed by The National Science Lab in Gastonia NC. The lab found traces of all the miticides they had used over the years, plus a fungacide which reacts with one of the miticides increasing its toxicity to bees many fold.

      So they tried replacing the old combs of dead or dying hives with foundation in some of the hives and left the others with the old combs. For the most part those with old combs continued being sickly and dieing, and those with the new foundation did great, some producing 150 pounds of honey.

      So, if anyone has used miticides in the past, and are having problems with their bees and brood being unhealthy or dieing, they might consider replacing their old contaminated brood combs with fresh foundation, and putting in a queen from survivor stock.