Almond blooms and unusual brood behavior


Most commercial beekeepers send bees to California for almond bloom. An effort of this magnitude can provide a wealth of information; because there are so many colonies, when a beekeeper notices something unusual, it is likely that other beekeepers may have similar experiences.

If you placed hives in almonds this year, PSC needs your help. We have received reports of unusual brood behavior and significant loss. Observers report seeing brood emerging with their proboscis paralyzed and protruding, unable to eat, staggering around, and dying. Some seem to never fully develop and die while pupating, leaving piles of dead pupae on the ground at the hive entrance.

It seems that it may be easy to miss damage as it is observable only at a specific stage and in many circumstances this damage would have already occurred by the time the beekeeper does inspections. Therefore, it is most likely seen immediately upon return from almonds. It has impacted roughly 1/3 of colonies of those reporting, and photos of this damage may be seen below. If you have had a similar experience, please contact us here or email as we are trying to determine impact and cause.

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