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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed for the past week or so some brown spots on my weakest hive's landing board and on the outside of the hive. My gut feel is that this is a symptom of nosema. As it is warming up here, in the 60's and soon to be 70's, they are starting to fly quite often and feeding on henbit and dandilions. I'm also starting to feed them 1:1 sugar water with essential oils (spearmint, lemongrass, wintergreen and tea tree).

I really don't want to use the fumagilin-b, but I will if it will help resolve the nosema. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Normally I would agree with you both, but this is the only hive that is having this issue of any severity. I'm very tempted to give them a dose a Fumagilin-B if it continues. Starting Sunday we'll be in the 70's for about 4 days as I am down here in central Alabama. Hopefully, all is fine and it will clear up on its own. We'll see.
 

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with all the spearmint, lemongrass, wintergreen and tea tree, I don't suppose a little Fumagil will hurt them. If you ate all that stuff you might have a little dysentery too..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually, that's the only hive out of the 4 that I haven't given any "fortified" sugar water to yet as they had a full super of honey to munch on whereas the other hives were a little light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a few corrections to make to my original post that have just come to light this morning. First, I talked with my local bee supplier who is chemical free and he told me he uses Tea Tree for treating nosema. I then talked with my essential oils blender, my wife, and found out she does not add the Tea Tree to the compound blend I mentioned above; only the spearment, wintergreen and lemon grass get blended together to treat for varroa mites. For treating nosema, there is a separate recipe using Tea Tree. So, she is making up a batch of Tea Tree sugar water today to feed all of the bees. The recipe calls for two cycles of treatment, so hopefully the Tea Tree will do the job.
 

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>Normally I would agree with you both, but this is the only hive that is having this issue of any severity. I'm very tempted to give them a dose a Fumagilin-B if it continues.

One hive will have more poo than others because they are raising more brood. Fumagilin-B causes birth defects and it kills off the very bacteria in their gut that protects them from Nosema. Feeding sugar syrup has been shown to be just as effective at clearing up Nosema as Fumidil.

http://bushfarms.com/beesnosema.htm
http://bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#nosema

The latest I hear is that Nosema apis has virtually disappeared and Nosema cerana which has crowded it out has completely different symptoms and is not responsive to Fumidil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Michael for that update. I just put out the tea tree-laced sugar water in each of my 4 hives, 1/2 gallon per hive. When they're done with that dose, I'll put out a second batch to complete the process and see how it goes. I really didn't want to use the fumadilin-b and you've given me some good information to hold off on that decision. Thanks! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wonderful! What's a mother to do? :scratch: There are a lot of local beekeepers in my area that use tea tree oil lightly mixed in their sugar water instead of using chemicals to prevent nosema and they seem to do quite well with it. So far since I cleaned up the "messy" hive, I haven't seen any more dysentry symptoms to speak of. Hopefully your initial theory of higher brood activity was the issue. Well, the tea oil is on there now so we'll just have to see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I thought essential oils were made from herbs rather than chemicals? Am I mistaken? If so, I will change my signature line as I do not plan to stop using them as a preventative means to defend against varroa mites and nosema.
 

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Not criticizing anyone, but I'm surprised people give bees tea tree oil. The stuff smells like turpentine (another natural oil) and is suggested for the elimination of toe nail fungus. Of course I realize it's given diluted, but still. . .:eek:
 

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I think by definition an oil would be a chemical compound, regardless of the type of oil, but I'm not a chemist or a chemical engineer, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I'm not trying to be the signature line cop or anything, I just found it incongruous, at least to my understanding or the term "chemical". The only thing I remember from Chemistry class was the professor had a thing about chemicals, chemical compounds and substances, and I really didn't care much about them, I just needed to pass the class.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I wouldn't want to offend your chemistry professor and since you made such a fuss about it I have changed my signature line.
 

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Offend away. I must say I truly hated that class unlike any other. And the professor was a jerk.

It is interesting though since there are folks that are "treatment free" but will treat with essential oils. I'm not sure what that is about. It would seem essential oils are treatments. I guess you could argue that feeding them to keep them from starving is a treatment, but I'm not sure where the line is crossed.

Again, no disrespect was intended.
 

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As a former chemist, I'll say this really this all about semantics. Feeding sugar ( sucrose) is also feeding a chemical. Bees drink water H2O another chemical. Essential oils the volatile components of plant materials which are obtained by steam distillation of the material. They contain mixtures of chemicals. For instance thyme oil will contain thymol + numerous other compounds. Tea tree oil is mostly terpinenol. They are usually derivatives of isoprene units
 
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