Nosema/Dysentery or what?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    108

    Default Nosema/Dysentery or what?

    Got a situation, never had before in all my years of keeping bees. I keep all my hives on screen floored, sliding bottom boards. Sliding bottom boards kept closed except for inspections(mite drop, etc.). One hive has continuing excessive amounts of dark brown feces on the sliding board. I've had cases of dysentery periodically over the years and this isn't like them. No feces anywhere on the outside of the hive. I don't find feces on the frames or anywhere else in the hive. No discernible odd odors in the hive. The hive appears normal with all usual healthy activities. The feces spots on the sliding board are spread evenly across board, not in rows as if falling from bee spaces between frames. I have my hive entrances reduced considerably at this time of the year because of wasp and robbing threats. One thing I have learned about these critters is- I will see stuff I've never seen before no matter how long I keep them. At this point I'm guessing, with this tiny entrance on a large colony, they are just crapping on the screen floor because it's easier then exiting the hive. Tell me where I'm wrong or whatever theory you might have or insights. I don't feel it's the end of the world, just something I've never seen before.
    Keep on keepin' bees

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,705

    Default Re: Nosema/Dysentery or what?

    Kinda sounds like bee larva poo that did not get removed. I see quite a bit on my bottom boards. Really need to post pictures with this type of question because it could be other things as well. Do you get wax moth larvae on your bottoms boards? I do, and they also leave a lot of feces. As long as the poo is hard, and you do not see any obvious signs of pest infestation, including mice, I would not worry too much. Still like to see pictures though.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Nosema/Dysentery or what?

    Oh Lord, pictures- Let me try, I know far more about keeping than computers, no matter how many times I'm told, "It's easy!" Larva poo- interesting. The spots are hard, flat and dried on the board. About the wax moth issues- Pull the boards out every chance you get and just wipe it off or bang it on the ground. My "every chance I get" is about once a week. The wax moths are attracted to the wax flakes and wax fragments that fall through the screen and collect on the board.
    Keep on keepin' bees

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,705

    Default Re: Nosema/Dysentery or what?

    Ok hard and flat? Kinda brown rather than black? Try a little alcohol on them and see if they dissolve. I have something that looks like that too and decided, without testing, that it was propolis, but I could be wrong. Sometimes it builds up in a little pile which I scrape off with the hive tool. The larvae poo are small black cylindrical specks. I believe each larva poops once right before it is capped. The bees remove this from the hive but if they drop it and you have a screened bottom board, then it is there to see.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,118

    Default Re: Nosema/Dysentery or what?

    Never thought I would be interested in a discussion about bee poo possibilities, yet here I am. J

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