A total of 705 individual bees were analyzed from five colonies over three seasons in 2010. bees analyzed were sampled from the honey supers because we found no significant difference in infection levels among different groups of bees sampled Overall, colonies were found to be infected with N. ceranae. In the spring, all colonies were found infected with an average N. ceranae copy number of 8,007. In the summer, 80% of colonies were found infected with an average N. ceranae copy number of 37,057. Only one colony was found infected in the fall; however, only one bee from this colony was positive for N. ceranae infection with an average copy number of 70.3. All other samples were negative (n = 249). These findings bring into question whether a hive that has been deemed highly infected has been diagnosed as such because of an overall high infection level or because of sampling practices in which a minority of bees were highly infected but the remainder exhibited only low-level infections or no infection.
Insects 2012, 3, 1143-1155; doi:10.3390/insects3041143
Individual Variability of Nosema ceranae Infections in Apis mellifera Colonies Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: email@example.com