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  Tuesday, 24 March 2015
  6 Replies
  165 Visits
All three of my hives have diarrhea! There is one that is seems more severely affected than the others judging my the amount of soiling on the outside. Do bees only defecate on their own hives? Maybe all that poop is coming from just the one hive. A quick inspection revealed that the hive that is worse off has a moisture problem (mold seen on outer frames) and needed better ventilation - this I have hopefully rectified. I also fed them some winter patties. My question is regarding Nosema which I did not treat for in the fall. What is the best way to diagnose this infection? I have access to a microscope and wonder if it is something easily diagnosed by a novice or is there a place where I can send a few bees? Or should I just empirically treat them for it? And if so do I need to wait for warmer temperatures or can it be done now? Any advice much appreciated! Jean
7 years ago
I can't view Tony's lecture due to bandwidth restrictions, but I think I've heard it before. He has some good info on feeding sugar/spore counts/fumagilin. And, I guess if you've done the spore counts, and you think Fum. will cure the problem, then use it. Personally, I've never seen a nosema problem that was so severe that I used the product...well, once I did.

A yard of nucs that wintered poorly when all other nuc apiaries wintered very well. Turns out a package beekeeper had 10 colonies hidden in the woods, all of which failed to build up. My nucs robbed them out. In the spring they were half dead, greasy, shivering. Checking them under a scope, their poop lit up like a christmas tree. 40x was enough power to see the huge number of spores, when the usual power is 400x. I sprayed them with a fum/sugar syrup mixture and they recovered.

New York State samples all my NY apiaries for AFB, varroa, tropilaelaps, and nosema. I get reports and the nosema spore count is anywhere from not detectable, to 50,000 spores per bee, to 2 million, to 7 million per bee. The old N apis treatment threashold was 1 million. I've not treated those NY apiaries and right now the winter loss is well below 10%, with the clusters being medium to large.

Now, dysentery isn't necessarily from nosema. Any stressful condition in winter will result in dysentery. Poor feed, high moisture environment/syrup/honey, tracheal/varroa mite, and long periods without a cleansing flight will all cause dysentery. So, unless you know the bees have a very high spore count, and you can see typical nosema symptoms, I wouldn't treat.
For sure this is a video for all to watch,a wake up call to all kinds of bee keeping,You can see how disease spread so fast and also makes them hard to control.
7 years ago
Here is a video of Maine state bee inspector on issues facing the bee commercial bee industry but applies to everyone.
At 33:00 he discusses Nosema.
Worth watching.

7 years ago
Unfortunately even if your hive pulls through winter and has Nosema they can still die out.
Depending on how bad the spore count is. Would be great to here how and If VBA memebers are treating or not.

Here is some info on both Nosema. Apis and Nosema Ceranae.

7 years ago
Im no expert but I would say if they are alive now, you will be fine..if they were sick they would be dead by now....they have flown and spring is almost here and as long as they dont starve you should be ok
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