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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Default Nosema got my hive

    Hi.

    One of my hives has now been claimed by nosema. All bees are dead. Streaking on the outside of the hive. Inside is messy but not totally disgusting - although I wouldn't uncap the unused honey and extract it.

    I have heard conflicting reports (as usual - after all this IS beekeeping) on what to do before using the hive again.

    I read the article in Bee Culture (Jan. 2009, Pg. 55) on using a 10% bleach solution instead of acetic acid in sterilizing the hive parts.
    Another person recommends a 60% solution of acetic acid.
    A third person recommends doing NOTHING and just dump a new package, split, or nuc into the hive.

    One question is basically, what would you do? Treat with bleach, acetic acid, or nothing.

    If you would treat with the bleach solution as per the article, would you treat everything... hive bodies, frames with comb & honey, pollen, etc? Or would you uncap the honey and drain it then treat the empty comb? OR would you scrape the frames down to nothing (they're Pierco plastic) and then sterilize?

    Has anyone actually left their hives alone and allowed the new bees to clean up the hive? How 'dirty' was your hive? Were your bees successful?

    I'm looking for recommendations since I haven't found many online. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Keith

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    233

    Default

    I do nothing, I just use as is.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default

    >I do nothing, I just use as is.

    Me too. But if you want to disinfect, bleach or vinegar will probably do fine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Grafton, NY, USA
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    190

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stoweski View Post
    Hi.

    One of my hives has now been claimed by nosema. All bees are dead. Streaking on the outside of the hive. Inside is messy but not totally disgusting - although I wouldn't uncap the unused honey and extract it.

    I have heard conflicting reports (as usual - after all this IS beekeeping) on what to do before using the hive again.

    I read the article in Bee Culture (Jan. 2009, Pg. 55) on using a 10% bleach solution instead of acetic acid in sterilizing the hive parts.
    Another person recommends a 60% solution of acetic acid.
    A third person recommends doing NOTHING and just dump a new package, split, or nuc into the hive.

    One question is basically, what would you do? Treat with bleach, acetic acid, or nothing.

    If you would treat with the bleach solution as per the article, would you treat everything... hive bodies, frames with comb & honey, pollen, etc? Or would you uncap the honey and drain it then treat the empty comb? OR would you scrape the frames down to nothing (they're Pierco plastic) and then sterilize?

    Has anyone actually left their hives alone and allowed the new bees to clean up the hive? How 'dirty' was your hive? Were your bees successful?

    I'm looking for recommendations since I haven't found many online. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Keith
    Keith,

    hi! I live east of you on the Renss Plateau and I think one of my hives has nosema too.

    It lost it's telescoping and inner cover over the holidays while we were away for 2 weeks...and from the road it didn't look amiss...so it was another couple of weeks after returning that it was discovered... needless to say, it had about 5 inches of snow frozen on the top super frames...we cleaned it off and put the telescoping cover back on, but it was a few days before we could locate a replacement inner cover for it... somehow they survived and are holding on, but they appear to have nosema or some other sort of dysinteric issue going on....I'm hoping they do not also have tracheal mites too... there were some bees hanging around on the pallet that were not very lively, so who knows... Needless to say, I'd like to place them on new frames in a nuc or a single story hive as was suggested, but it's still been too cool to transfer them imo.... I would also be interested in having the hives and frames irradiated as I hear they have been doing that for CCD hives and it seems to be helping eliminate diseases, but I'm not sure if it would be logistical or how to coordinate such a thing.

    I also would like some clarification regarding what to do about honey frames left in mosema hives. Could they be irradiated and fed back to the bees in a nuc?

    (I'm very concerned about using any sort of honey from a hive treated for nosema. If it's irradiated or treated with Fumagillin, I would not want them to move it up into a honey super that could be harvested for human consumption. I'd also like to somehow quarantine the hive from others as well since drifting or robbing could possibly result in the bees bringing in contaminated honey.)

    I'm thinking that for a dead out, if it were me, I would consider treating it with either the bleach or acetic acid methods, as well as scorch the inner parts of the hive boxes as well for additional precautions if it doesn't look like an extreme case of nosema, or.... if you don't mind them starting from scratch, the safest bet would be to place them on new foundation and let them draw out fresh was comb...the downfall is it will set them back a bit and you may not get honey harvestable honey this year.

    I'm actually going to try to experiment with a couple of hives using foundationless frames to see how it compares to the usual foundation frames. (Apparently, research has shown that most of the wax that is used to treat the foundation is contaminated with at least some sort of chemical, so I was decided to see how using foundationless frames would work out as an experiment in hopes of decreasing the chemical levels in a new hive.)

    Anyhow, maybe somebody will reply back and clarify things a little more for us!

  5. #5

    Default

    What about sending a sample to a bee lab or contacting your local inspector to come have a look?

    I have read somewhere here about a bee lab that does testing for a fairly nominal expense. Does anyone know of one?

    I've used bleach to disinfect both comb and equipment. Seems to work well.
    Try to learn something new every day and give thanks for all your blessings.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    5,125

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    Quote Originally Posted by gingerbee View Post
    I have read somewhere here about a bee lab that does testing for a fairly nominal expense. Does anyone know of one?
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7472
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    637

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    My bees had the worst nosema they ever seen them have last spring. 30 of my hives went from 7 frames bees in the begining of Feb down to 3 - 2 1/2 frames of bees by mid March. I kept feeding doses of fumigillin to them and manage to survive them but the frames and hive body was coated with fecal matter. A freind recommended that I get them steralized to prevent this from happening again in the next spring but I left it alone. through the summer the bees did a good job at cleaning everything up and so far this spring there is no signs of nosema.

    but this also has been one of the driest springs we've had in a long time and the bees have had good cleansing flights as well. We've also kept the fumigillin on them and fed them a lot of it in the syrup in the fall. all of this has helped out a lot to keep nosema at bay.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Altamont, NY
    Posts
    146

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    Hello from the west side of the river. I like Rensselaer county... just hate the traffic on Hoosick Street!!!

    Thanks for the replies. I'll add them to my poll results.

    I'm still checking with some local beeks to see what they'd recommend. I'm thinking that the bleach solution may be the best idea just to be safe. I'd just like to clean off the frames & hive bodies before introducing a new package to the hive. I'd feel safer too. You are correct, the idea of feeding possibly infected honey back to the bees makes me a bit nervous too.

    Oh, I can't scorch that hive... it's made of styrofoam. Would be bad for the environment and, umm, melt.

    We'll be disassembling both dead hives this weekend. At least we still have one!!

    Keith

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Grafton, NY, USA
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    190

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    Quote Originally Posted by gingerbee View Post
    What about sending a sample to a bee lab or contacting your local inspector to come have a look?

    I have read somewhere here about a bee lab that does testing for a fairly nominal expense. Does anyone know of one?

    I've used bleach to disinfect both comb and equipment. Seems to work well.
    Last year the inspecors didn't start until May if I recall correctly.

    Sending a sample to the lab is a good idea...I'm just not sure if I would send what they need in the manner that they need it...although I'm sure there must be info on the lab's website.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    Nosema spores live up to 2 years.
    I'd disinfect with clorox solution if it were me, and any sealed honey I'd use as bee feed. I'd scrape down the wax on frames of open nectar, since it's pierco.

    I had nosema die outs this winter, and am scraping all the wax off my plastic foundation and removing all wax from frames that were wired foundation. All sealed honey I'm feeding back as spring boost, and all open nectar I'm trashing.

    I am starting this year, all wax for broodnest will be new wax each year, making the bees draw it out fresh each year. The old wax (the broodnest wax from the previous year) will be moved up for extracted honey and melted wax. The frames will then be stored for use as foundationless frames in the broodnest the next year.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Altamont, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Nosema spores live up to 2 years.
    I'd disinfect with clorox solution if it were me, and any sealed honey I'd use as bee feed. I'd scrape down the wax on frames of open nectar, since it's pierco.

    I had nosema die outs this winter, and am scraping all the wax off my plastic foundation and removing all wax from frames that were wired foundation. All sealed honey I'm feeding back as spring boost, and all open nectar I'm trashing.
    This seems to be the direction I'm heading. Only clarification I need is would you treat the frames of sealed honey w/ a bleach solution then feed them back or would you feed it to them after extracting it? I suppose a third option would be to feed it immediately but that would defeat the purpose of getting rid of the nosema.
    I have often wondered how someone would feed honey to a colony after extracting it. Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Keith

  12. #12
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    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    I'm not treating with clorox myself, I'm destroying the wax by scraping it off my frames of plastic or by removing all wired wax. The frames that do have sealed honey, I'm feeding back to the bees by scratching combs and leaving out for robbing back (these are the darker combs of sealed honey). Another way I feed back is by adding sealed honey combs to smaller hives, but only if those combs are less than 2 or 3 years old. Any combs that are darker than a light brown, i'm scratching for open feeding then destroying, the lighter ones I'm adding back to hives as feed and will recycle at end of year.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Grafton, NY, USA
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    190

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Nosema spores live up to 2 years.
    I'd disinfect with clorox solution if it were me, and any sealed honey I'd use as bee feed. I'd scrape down the wax on frames of open nectar, since it's pierco.

    I had nosema die outs this winter, and am scraping all the wax off my plastic foundation and removing all wax from frames that were wired foundation. All sealed honey I'm feeding back as spring boost, and all open nectar I'm trashing.

    I am starting this year, all wax for broodnest will be new wax each year, making the bees draw it out fresh each year. The old wax (the broodnest wax from the previous year) will be moved up for extracted honey and melted wax. The frames will then be stored for use as foundationless frames in the broodnest the next year.

    When you are disinfecting the frames, if there is capped honey, are you also disinfecting those frames too? (ie-Is it safe to feed back honey that has been exposed to bleach?... Also, what happens to the uncapped honey that may have been bleached if the bees eat it?)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewBee2007 View Post
    When you are disinfecting the frames, if there is capped honey, are you also disinfecting those frames too? (ie-Is it safe to feed back honey that has been exposed to bleach?... Also, what happens to the uncapped honey that may have been bleached if the bees eat it?)
    I did not, and would not, treat any frames of sealed honey and feed back to bees.

    I did not, and would not, treat any frames of unsealed honey and feed back to bees.

    I do not know if it would hurt or not, but I would not take the chance.

    I would only treat frames without honey, nectar, or pollen in them, and would use a 10% clorox in water solution. I would mix up the solution in a bottle or tank sprayer and spray the frames. I would then shake out any excess solution in the frames and would set them out in the sunshine for 3 to 5 days to air out before reusing in a hive. I would only do this to frames that were newer frames (3 years or less of age).

    If the frames have any sealed honey in them and they are darker frames, I scrape the cappings and set out in open to be robbed back by bees. When the frames are empty, I would remove the wax and reuse the frames. If the frames are older frames with open honey/nectar in them, I scrape them and remove the wax, sacraficing the open honey/nectar, and reuse the frames.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Altamont, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I did not, and would not, treat any frames of sealed honey and feed back to bees.

    I did not, and would not, treat any frames of unsealed honey and feed back to bees.

    I do not know if it would hurt or not, but I would not take the chance.

    I would only treat frames without honey, nectar, or pollen in them, and would use a 10% clorox in water solution. I would mix up the solution in a bottle or tank sprayer and spray the frames. I would then shake out any excess solution in the frames and would set them out in the sunshine for 3 to 5 days to air out before reusing in a hive. I would only do this to frames that were newer frames (3 years or less of age).

    If the frames have any sealed honey in them and they are darker frames, I scrape the cappings and set out in open to be robbed back by bees. When the frames are empty, I would remove the wax and reuse the frames. If the frames are older frames with open honey/nectar in them, I scrape them and remove the wax, sacraficing the open honey/nectar, and reuse the frames.
    Thanks for the reply, Ray. This definitely makes more sense now.
    Time to get out there and start cleaning.

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