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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default Frames with feces

    I have a number of frames and boxes with feces on them from Nosema and/or Dysentery. I am having bees tested at Washington State University to confirm what it is. Either way, I am not sure if I need to discard all frames with feces on them. My intuition is I should throw all them away and not risk spreading the problem this year. I can wash the boxes with a water/bleach solution then burn the spores with a torch. I would then put the boxes out in the direct sun when it gets warm later this year. But the frames, foundation, wax and capped honey is another matter. If there are lines of feces running down the capping's can I remove it, put a torch to that area, or something else. Hate to see all that honey going to waste but would hate to see dead hives again next year even more.

    Obviously, I will work on keeping clean equipment, feeding the bees a supplement to promote intestinal health, and attempt to get them as healthy as possible going into next winter. I live in No. Idaho so our winters are long and that may be my biggest obstacle. Any ideas on how to avoid this issue will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Soapy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: Frames with feces

    I would scrape the brown off and use the equipment. I have read that the spores do not stay viable in the cold outside of the bees. I never treat for nosema and like you live in dry country. I have seldom had a problem. How long did your bees have between flying days? Did your bees get syrup late that might not have been cured? I am curious as I get bees from Sunrise Honey in your vicinity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Frames with feces

    Thanks Vance for the reply. I never treated for it either and now for the second year in a row I have had significant loses with feces all over frames and boxes inside and out. I do not know how many days between flying but we did have a relatively mild winter for our area with two very cold spells. One around Thanksgiving and the other in February with highs only in the single digits. Then we had almost no snow in early winter with a couple of days in the mid 40s in December. So temps were up and down throughout winter. I did not feed late and usually do not feed late since I keep a honey bank and believe honey is the best thing to feed bees. I also leave more honey in the hive than recommended so that is all they have to eat. My main concern prompting the post is the frames with capped honey having feces running down the capping's. Do I scrape it off and feed those frames back to the bees or toss them? Again, my biggest concern is spreading more of the spores around my apiary.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: Frames with feces

    I don't know what to say and advise you. Two years in a row and significant loss when not feeding syrup late is a definite indicator. How do you ventilate for winter? Are the dead bees soggy or crappy? I know I would wipe the honey frames off with bleach water on a cold morning and re use them. Except in long winters many years [past, I have not had a colony with more than random spring accidents. Send a sample off to Beltsville MD, it is free. They would just want some dead bees and maybe some of the scrapings off the top bar. Please let us know what you find and I am sorry for your trouble.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Frames with feces

    Sample going to WSU Bee lab tomorrow. They analyze for free. Check them out if you need analysis in the future.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: Frames with feces

    Please post what the Lab finds. I suggest you get new queens that have resistance to the problem. I hope the lab suggests what will help with the problem!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: Frames with feces

    "I have read that the spores do not stay viable in the cold outside of the bees."

    THIS IS VERY BAD ADVICE. And really needs to be squashed right away!!

    Nosema apis is a microsporidian, a small, unicellular parasite recently reclassified as a fungus that mainly affects honey bees. It causes nosemosis, also called nosema, which is the most common and widespread of adult honey bee diseases.[1] The dormant stage of N. apis is a long-lived spore which is resistant to temperature extremes and dehydration, and cannot be killed by freezing the contaminated comb. Nosemosis is a listed disease with the Office International des Epizooties
    The spores can live on or in the comb until ingested by a bee, at which time the cycle of the microsporidian is completed the growing fungus within the gut matures producing spores that are evacuated within the feces of the host to begin the cycle over.
    Examination of the feces under microscope would reveal the spores. however it could also be dysentery.

    In either case there is good news to a degree. washing the frames, and thoroughly will remove the dried feces and the spores it contains.

    Nosems is a very treatable disease, and responds well to Funigilin-B

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Frames with feces

    So, Tenbears, what you are saying is I should get rid of all the frames where feces is on comb or capped cells since it can live there until it is ingested. I can wash boxes and wood frames but cannot get into comb without spreading feces.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: Frames with feces

    PM Roland or some other realist commercial beek and ask what they would do. I seriously doubt any would throw away equipment as profligately as seems to be advocated.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,709

    Default Re: Frames with feces

    First of all, what is the cost off all of the equipment(frames) in question?(supers, bottoms and lids can be adequately charred) Less than 200 dollars?

    If so, I would boil it all down and rewire with new foundation.

    If more, then we need to know what caused this situation. It is suspicious that we have a "habitual" offender. I will advise further when you lab results are returned.

    Crazy Roland

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