Beetltra Notes

Welcome to Beetltra Notes

These are a collection of notes on general beekeeping written by a professional beekeeper.  We hope that they will be of interest and will be updated over time….


Several years ago I had the misfortune to have some of my beehives infected with Chalkbrood fungus.  An internet search did not help a lot.  Advice from beekeepers was more helpful but some of their methods meant that there could be possible contamination.

I recalled as a kid gathering wild mushrooms and being told that mushrooms would not grow on paddocks that the farmers had “limed”( with limestone ) to sweeten the ground.  Relating this to a dispensing chemist, he said that fungi are PH sensitive and the mushrooms would be affected by the alkaline environment.  We decide the chalkbrood may be treated the same way.

bi-carb,tray We tried Bi-Carb Soda (soda bicarbonate) and got a good response by placing a teaspoon of Soda (10 grams )on a small flat tray inside on the floor at the front of the infected hives. The treatment had to be repeated according to the severity of the infection.  The bees even push the empty flat tray out of the front of the hive.

Please note — the soda- bicarbonate is only recommended to be used in a tray as shown.

Soda- bicarbonate may assist with the control of other bee diseases.

The following set of images show a frame of brood infected with chalk brood,  the dead brood (“mummies”) that the bees discard at the hive entrance and in the beetltra traps,  and a photo of the same brood frame following a period of treatment – note the lack of chalkbrood and the extensive “young healthy larvae” in the cells following treatment.

© 2015 Les Heenan

cbrood snaps 4

Brood frame with chalk brood

cbrood snaps1

Chalkbrood mummies at entrance

new brood+bees

Healthy frame after treatment