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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    78

    Default when does poop become dysentery?

    Hi all.
    Just cleaned up one of my three hives that did not make it through winter (the two others did, thankfully).

    There was quite a bit of brown spotting on top of the frames of the top box of the dead hive, I cleaned it all off, but some accounts I have been reading seem to suggest that this sort of deposit means dysentery....which I have always assumed is an actual adverse condition....as opposed to just being a bunch of bee poop that was done because it was too cold for the bees to go out (which it certainly is here all winter until now) .

    I am 99% sure the dead hive was due to low numbers after fall robbing, and not due to any disease. I am just concerned about re-using the frames, which are in good shape with comb and some honey. Poop is normal and presumably no big deal. Dysentery has to involve some adverse digestive condition or infection, yes? Is there any reason to suspect dysentery in this case? This is my first overwintering experience so I am not sure how much poop/spotting it is normal to find in the hive in spring.

    thanks

    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: when does poop become dysentery?

    Em... When they can't 'hold it' further than the end of the landing board? Most beekeepers limited to the observable, so there's my 0.112358132134 cents!
    Disclaimer: I've never been a bee.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: when does poop become dysentery?

    Rob did you take any photos? Dissentery can be caused by stress but also by nosema. The extent of the spotting or smearing would be helpful. The best way to tell however is to get a sample or the dead bees tested.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    786

    Default Re: when does poop become dysentery?

    ..
    Last edited by dixiebooks; 03-06-2013 at 06:26 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,205

    Default Re: when does poop become dysentery?

    Rob, I read somewhere that simple sunlight on the frames will kill nosema on frames. If someone could corroberate this it would be good. If that is correct just putting them out in the winter sun should do it.
    I think your original question is a good one. I see variability between how much staining is on and around individual hives, and so I suppose "dysentery" (a catch all term) is in the eye of the beholder.
    I would reuse the frames. It is not normal to see poop in the hive, but #### happens! Congrats on overwintering the other hives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,180

    Default Re: when does poop become dysentery?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Rob, I read somewhere that simple sunlight on the frames will kill nosema on frames.
    I know freezing does, has your hive had a freeze since it died?

    I would wash or wipe them off (so you dont think its a new problem later down the road) freeze and reuse.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default Re: when does poop become dysentery?

    Judging by the latest research, dysentery is a symptom of Nosema apis, but Nosema apis seems to have disappeared and been replaced by Nosema cerana. Dysentery is not a typical symptom of Nosema cerana.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8

    Default Re: when does poop become dysentery?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hughes View Post
    There was quite a bit of brown spotting on top of the frames of the top box of the dead hive,
    I believe that bee poop inside the hive would likely qualify as dysentery...in my opinion.
    Some years ago I saw a few hives that were infested with Nosema apis. The front and landing boards of those hives were covered with fecal splatter. But, as Michael Bush pointed out, Nosema a has been largely replaced by Nosema c....and dysentery isn't a symptom.
    I have a couple of hives that consistently have a few fecal spots on the front. Not substantial like Nosema a...but still noticeable. And yet those colonies continue to thrive. Hard to figure.
    Nonetheless....finding significant areas of bee poop inside a hive would get my attention.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: when does poop become dysentery?

    Thanks to all for the replies.

    It seems as if 'dysentery' is a rather imprecise term, which may or may not mean disease is present. I would be surprised if my bees had nosema, as they were on new equipment last year, but I suppose it's possible.

    Nosema spores are resistant to freezing. Heat at 49-50C for 24 h apparently will kill the spores.

    Where I am it's too cold for the bees to go out from Dec-Feb. I assume some in-hive poop is inevitable.

    cheers

    Rob

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