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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Indian Valley, Virginia

    Default Testing for Nosema

    I was reading Jim Fischer's article in the latest BC and he suggests testing for nosema that can be done using a microscope.
    Anyone know more detail as to how to do that? How many bees per hive do you look at? How do you prepare the bee to examine her?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Stillwater, Minnesota USA


    I haven't read Jim fisher's article, but heres a link to directions for testing for Nosema.

    It seams pretty complicated and it doesn't give any definite numbers as far as whats a bad infestation or when to treat, but it would be interesting to try it.
    For the love of bees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    New York City


    What? Someone actually READS my articles?

    Give me a moment to catch my breath...

    ... ok... yeah, those directions are very complete
    and very complex. They are "lab grade". But they
    are easy enough to follow. Order what you can't
    get from the High School Chemistry teacher and/or
    from the pharmacy from Fisher Scientific (no relation,
    not even spelled right) [SIZE=-1][/SIZE]

    As to numbers, Eric Mussen (the expert on Nosema)
    says that for every one spore ("paramecium") you see,
    there are at least 10,000 in that same drop of liquid that
    you won't see with a student-grade microscope.

    It is possible to do your own counting AND send the
    remainder of the bees you sampled off to a lab to
    compare your count with an official count, but I've
    got an easier answer for this year:

    Given all the nosema seen, and the extent of the
    infections found in most hives, I'd treat everything
    in sight if I saw ANY Nosema in ANY samples.

    Learn the elegant stuff as you get time, but for now,
    when in doubt, assume you have Nosema, 'cause
    everyone else seems to have it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    North Carolina

    Default Dr. Oertel and Nosema

    Dr. Oertel use to call nosema "no-see-um." I helped Dr. E. Oertel look for nosema disease in 1965 as a teenage research assistant at the Southern States Bee Lab (Bee Breeding Lab)in Baton Rouge. As I remember, I collected live bee samples at the entrance of each colony. Dr. Oertel would freeze the bees and the next day I would pull the bees apart from the rear end using a jewelers’ tweezers. I would separate the gut from the nectar sac and I would put the gut on a glass slide. I would then add some distilled water and mash the gut. Dr. Oertel would look for Nosema using a binocular microscope.
    Last edited by JC; 10-09-2007 at 06:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    lewisberry, Pa, usa


    Are people recommending fumigillan-B as a preventative?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK


    Is there an easy way of staining the samples to make nosema more visible, or would this make the test too complicated?
    Birmingham UK


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