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  1. #1
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    Default Nosema spore counts this fall

    Just curious what the nosema spore count is for other beekeepers this fall. Is anyone monitoring it?

    I have gotten back a couple of samples, one spore count under threashold of .62M and the other spore count over threshold of 2.7M. The nosema that was identified in my samples was Nosema Ceranae.

    The higher spore count has gotten me a bit worried. I have winter prepared the hives with funigillin. I am hoping for a short winter.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #2
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    Apr 2005
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    Omaha, NE
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Short winter? Is there such a thing up there?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Suchan View Post
    Short winter? Is there such a thing up there?
    After last winter, any winter would be shorter! LOL
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
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    Jan 2014
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    Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Good question Ian and thanks for posting your results...I'll be pulling some samples in 4 days and will post the results...what are your gut feelings of previously wintered colonies versus spring packages when it comes to nosema rates at this time of year? I think you've posted in the past that NZ packages don't have significant varroa in the first year and I'm just wondering if those low varroa rates possibly impact nosema rates.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Quote Originally Posted by beecavalier View Post
    what are your gut feelings of previously wintered colonies versus spring packages when it comes to nosema rates at this time of year?
    I have not separated my samples but you ask a good question. I have not noticed any performance differences between the packages and my operation stock. If I run more counts, I will include a seperate sample.

    One thing I have to consider is my T mite counts are undetectable. Also my varroa mite counts are 1/4 of a percent. So with these two major stresses on the bees very low, perhaps a higher nosema infection will be handled,.?

    Next week Monday I am sending a live bee sample away to get a full viral analysis.
    www.thenbdc.ca
    Knowing my viral levels in the bees will also help determine their health and condition. Having all this information at hand will help me understand what the bees are doing later in Winter and spring. Right?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    I have found that dead bees on the landing board have very high spore counts both last year and this year. However, live bees under the migratory cover have very low or no spore counts. Randy Oliver also reports he sees this. I will not use fumigillin and feel that nosema, without heavy stress is not a problem. I think you'll find low virus issues with your mite counts. I believe that virus was a major cause of my high losses last winter.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I have found that dead bees on the landing board have very high spore counts both last year and this year. However, live bees under the migratory cover have very low or no spore counts. Randy Oliver also reports he sees this.
    I have sat in on one of his presentations and remember him saying the same thing. So Cam, basically he is saying the older bees are the ones who fall susceptible to the infection, which makes lots of sense. Can you draw the conclusion that when winter bees age, they will all fall to the same fate? Regardless of the other stresses on the hive, if there is a nosema infection, it will present itself as winter drags on...and if spring drags on, hives will dwindle.

    you mentioned virus being a major cause of our losses last winter, how do you know that?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #8
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    Visalia, CA USA
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    I had very low virus ,varroa and nosema last fall (David Wick) by January all numbers though the roof don't take any chances I would treat. In May-June my nosema jumped (20m)so I treated with fumagillin dry knocked it back to 0 so been keeping a close watch and treated once more this summer,Then going to treat in November.
    David
    beebotanical.com 40 years-4000 colonies-treatment eo's

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Can you draw the conclusion that when winter bees age, they will all fall to the same fate? Regardless of the other stresses on the hive, if there is a nosema infection, it will present itself as winter drags on...and if spring drags on, hives will dwindle.
    Hasn't been my experience but I winter outdoors. Don't know if indoor wintering would be different. I have very low spore counts in the spring here.

    you mentioned virus being a major cause of our losses last winter, how do you know that?
    Only talking about my hives and it is only a thought. Mite counts were very low, no nosema, pretty good clusters.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    Hasn't been my experience but I winter outdoors. Don't know if indoor wintering would be different.
    THe only difference between wintering indoors and outdoor is that the indoor hives are held longer without flight, so in a way Nosema would be a greater stress on an indoor wintered hive.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    THe only difference between wintering indoors and outdoor is that the indoor hives are held longer without flight, so in a way Nosema would be a greater stress on an indoor wintered hive.
    Not sure I agree. The stress of extreme cold and the temp swings might be even greater. Isn't that the reason you winter indoors? Even down here we have long stretches of days with no flight.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Yes, absolutely. The biggest thing is it gets them out of the wind and helps manage those extremes. Otherwise wintering inside is the work substitute for wrapping.
    My thoughts were directed towards Nosema. Confinement exaggerates the problem late winter
    Last edited by Ian; 10-05-2014 at 08:50 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Confinement exaggerates the problem late winter
    - This is the key. If they cannot clear their gut contents, levels often continue to rise.

    I didn't see it, but assume your samples were taken after treatment? For peace of mind, you could resample, treat or both if you can get a quick turnaround on samples.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    I didn't see it, but assume your samples were taken after treatment? For peace of mind, you could resample, treat or both if you can get a quick turnaround on samples.
    yes the samples were taken before the treatment was fed though the winter feed syrup. I will be taking further samples this week to try to get a more accurate measure of the Nosema levels in my hives. Samples from the same jar should not be this fall off. Or my samples were analysed improperly.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I have found that dead bees on the landing board have very high spore counts both last year and this year. However, live bees under the migratory cover have very low or no spore counts.
    Cam, as winter drags on, and those bees under the lid age, do you think the nosema levels will increase to the same levels as found in the bees dancing around the front entrance?

    This is the reason why we test nosema from the front entrance, to be able to determine the levels of infection more accurately. As those bees die off, the nosema flys off with them, but the infection still holds within the colony in the young bees, which as they age, will express the same level of infection in their guts. More or less depending on the conditions provided.

    So a hive going into winter showing a mid level infection needs attention otherwise the infection will exaggerate itself later in winter as the bees have no way of ridding the infection. Yes the bees may be able to handle it without anyother disease stresses but you will be depending on a nice early spring to clear up the infection. This is where fumagillin comes into play.

    Lots of beekeeper working though these last two cold long springs were having trouble keep their bees going. Not many around here knew what their levels were... and many of those beekeepers were blaming other such things as pesticide exposure for failing hives. Funny thing how the hive were able to recover so swiftly as better weather arrived.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Ian,

    There can be a lot of variation between colony infection levels and even among workers from the same colony. One really high individual in a composite sample can elevate your counts.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Two of my count from the same sample came back .62M and 2.7M, 15-20 bees used in each count out of a sample of 1500 bees from 30 yards. Huge variation. I understand what your saying, which tells me the number of bees in each count need to be larger.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #18
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    I'm sure you've see his information.

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/nose...anae/sampling/

    I'm far from knowledgable on this subject and not commercial.

    Just a thought.
    Have you considered taking and testing your own samples?
    You may not have the same results as those sent off but I would think that controlling your own process would result in more consistency year over year. It might make it easier to develop a meaningful base line and follow it's progression.

    I'm sure you already have plenty to do

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    Have you considered taking and testing your own samples?
    Yes but I do not know anything about this process. Something I could train for.
    Its kinda like grading my wheat crop. I can do it myself but the grain graders know what they are looking for and can tell me exactly whats going on.
    I like to tap into others professionalism. I cant do it all myself.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Nosema spore counts this fall

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I cant do it all myself.
    Its a good point.
    Reading through the explanation of the method on scientific beekeeper it's seems like a process that could produce different results in different hands, potential for wide variation between yards and even hives kind of like a mite roll.

    It was just thought, not one formed from a particularly relevant perspective!

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