Chalkbrood Disease – a bee brood disease caused by a fungus
Chalkbrood is a fairly common disease of honeybee brood caused by a fungus Ascosphaera Apis and it affects both sealed and unsealed brood.
The fungus grows through the bodies of infected larvae, sending fine vegetative thread-like growths into the larval body tissues, eventually overcoming and killing the larvae after its cell has been sealed.
Chalkbrood is generally present in the majority of honeybee colonies at one time or another. The spores can be present in a hive and have no apparent effect on it.
It is generally not considered a serious disease and the effects on colonies are only slight.
However, colonies that are already weakened by other circumstances may suffer to a greater extent, especially in early spring.
Examination of brood frames and floor debris is required especially in spring. Bees should be gently shaken from the frames to allow full inspection, abnormalities are then easily spotted. Chalkbrood 'mummies' are easily seen and may even fall out of the cells during examination.