Chilled Brood

The Chilled Brood bee condition occurs when all larvae within a hive are destroyed hypothermia. The diseases can be triggered by condensation within the hive, the drops of water killing the brood. The bee families that do not have enough food during winter cannot heat themselves since they lack the necessary carbohydrates. Pesticides can also be blamed for this condition.

The Chilled Brood also occurs when there are not enough adult individuals to protect and cover the brood combs. The condition might appear in bee colonies that have been opened for a long period of time in an environment characterized by low temperatures. The disease usually occurs at the beginning of spring when the adult bees are not as numerous as the brood. The chilled brood symptoms might be similar to those of European Foulbrood.


The most obvious symptom is the death of all brood no matter its development stage. However, the brood located at the comb edges is the most affected. Other signs of Chilled brood include perforated caps and shiny, dark colored larvae. The comb cells contain a sort of black scales that can be taken out by the worker honey bees. No laboratory investigation is needed in order to diagnose the chilled brood. It is the only brood condition that kills all brood within a hive and leaves the larvae all shiny.

Treatment and Prevention

There is no available treatment for chilled brood. If the condition occurred it is usually the beekeeper's fault who has not managed to provided sufficient winter food resources for his/her bees or allowed weak families to form a winter cluster without offering them support from stronger colonies. The hives should not be opened if the weather outside is too cold since this can definitely lead to Chilled Brood. It is also advisable to open the hives in warm days and during the hottest part of the day, especially in spring and late summer. The frames must not be let outside for too long and beekeepers have to make sure they preserve the same structure of the hive.

Honey bee disease > Acarine mites > Acute bee paralysis virus > American Foulbrood > Black Queen Cell Virus > Bee louse> Chalkbrood > Chilled Brood > Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus > Cloudy wing virus > Colony Collapse Disorder > Deformed Wing Virus > Bee Dysentery > European Foulbrood > Israelii acute paralysis virus > Kashmir Bee Virus > Nosema > Sacbrood virus > Bee septicemia > Stonebrood > Varroa Mite >

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