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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wilson, Wyoming
    Posts
    17

    Default treat for nosema?

    I am in Jackson, Wyoming, high and cold, with lots of snow still on the ground but spring looming. Yesterday was especially warm/mild and the bees were out like a summer day -- lots walking around on the landing board, many taking flight. (I should add that, perhaps because I super-insulated the hive, on other sunny days this winter, there has always been bee activity out of the hive, though nothing like yesterday.)
    There was a lot of fecal spotting on top of the hive and on the front side, as well as some on the landing board. My thoughts turned to nosema. I have never medicated for that problem (the hive was new last spring), and I'd rather not take that step if I can avoid it but would certainly do so if it were critical to the health/survival of the hive.
    Since we are so early in the season I am inclined to wait a while for a better idea as to the health/strength of the bees. While they have managed to get some cleansing flights through the winter, I seriously doubt they had any opportunity like yesterday, what might be considered 'opening day' for a more temperate weather pattern. We are surely not done with winter, however. We'll get hit again, but the trend is clear.
    Any thoughts or comments are most welcome. I've had one or two hives for about 6 years but still feel very much a beginner. I've never medicated for any problem… but have had hives not make it through the winter, and had one episode of colony collapse, I think.
    Thank you in advance, and have a good day!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St Thomas, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: treat for nosema?

    I would get them some protein and feed that now about 5 lbs per hive. Just put it on the top and close everything back up on a reasonably warm day. As long as they have enough honey or sugar they should really start to take off. You may need to split them or take a couple of frames out later to prevent swarming

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,788

    Default Re: treat for nosema?

    There was a lot of fecal spotting on top of the hive and on the front side, as well as some on the landing board. My thoughts turned to nosema. I have never medicated for that problem (the hive was new last spring), and I'd rather not take that step if I can avoid it but would certainly do so if it were critical to the health/survival of the hive.
    Fecal spotting [dysentery] is not a symptom of Nosema Ceranae, the most prevalent nosema disease. It can be a symptom of nosema apis. Lift the lid and look at the top bars. If there is no dysentery there you are probably ok. There is little evidence that treating stops either nosema. I agree, put some pollen sub on and let them continue to grow. Shouldn't be a problem.

    I have several hives with dysentery on the front. Put some under the scope and could not see any nosema. Hives with dysentery seem to be very strong right now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wilson, Wyoming
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: treat for nosema?

    Thanks, good ideas. I'm giving them some food on the next nice day so I can take a peek inside. That will help. Today's snow mixed with rain....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,322

    Default Re: treat for nosema?

    The latest research seems to indicate there probably is no Nosema apis anymore, as it has been crowded out by Nosema cerana. Treating with fumidil (or fumigillan) makes them more susceptible rather than less. It does kill some of the live Nosema, it does NOT kill the spores, but the downside for the bees is that it disrupts the microbes in the stomach that form a film that protects the gut from things like Nosema. The downside for humans is that it causes birth defects. The best treatment for dysentery (whether caused by Nosema or not) is to feed. Once they flush out that is in there they will be much better. Feeding syrup has been just as effective as fumidil at clearing up Nosema.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnosema.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,788

    Default Re: treat for nosema?

    The latest research seems to indicate there probably is no Nosema apis anymore
    Just heard a presentation by Jeff Pettis of the Beltsville lab. He says that they are still finding apis in hives. There is a stain that makes it fairly easy to tell the difference with good scopes [not the 400X that most of us have].

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Cumberland, Maine, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: treat for nosema?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoke'm View Post
    I would get them some protein and feed that now about 5 lbs per hive. Just put it on the top and close everything back up on a reasonably warm day. As long as they have enough honey or sugar they should really start to take off. You may need to split them or take a couple of frames out later to prevent swarming
    I had this exact question!! The bees were pooping all over. Two hives are a mess on the inside and at least one on the outside. They still have honey/sugar (one was queen less in lat summer and had to go to sugar to make it)

    When should I feed pollen?? Like the original poster, winter is far from over here. We've got 15in on the ground and haven't seen 60F since Nov 14. I am not sure it is a good idea to get them building up with last frost 8 weeks away...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,322

    Default Re: treat for nosema?

    >When should I feed pollen??

    My biggest cause for losses in late winter are when they start brooding early and get stuck on brood. I would not feed pollen. When it is available, it will be fresher and cheaper (you don't have to buy it) and it will be closer to the "right time" for them to be brooding up.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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