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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bad smell associated with Nosema ? Am I in a denial ?

Bad smell associated with Nosema ? Am I in a denial ? AFB ?? Couple weeks ago I sniffed the wet droppings outside the hive and they smelled sourish. Now I am losing this hive (the 2nd one) and I wonder what caused it - I opened it up, there is still a small cluster of bees trying to pull it through, full of dead bees (it was a nice strong hive) , smells not pleasant, very soiled frames with droppings inside. Since there were some perforated brood cells, I did a rope test on a capped brood - no ropes. Anyway, would the hive smell funky if there are lots of dead bees and nosema/dysentery is the cause ? Does the bad smell only associates with AFB ? This is my 2nd winter, so my experience is minimal. The other 2 hives bringing in pollen and look very clean inside, I hope they don't pick up anything funky from the neighbors.
The both hives that I've lost/losing were started on a home made brand new equipment, foundationless frames or the new frames - what are the chances for the AFB ?
I searched the forum and did not find any similar posts, looks like if it smells it has to be AFB...:cry: ???
I'll just send out samples for the test...
 

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AFB, EFB, dead bees, and bee poop all have a smell that are different from each other but none smell good.
 

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Re: Bad smell associated with Nosema ? Am I in a denial ?

Bad smell associated with Nosema ? looks like if it smells it has to be AFB
Hives dead in the spring usually smell rotten. Nosema has no particular smell, and there are no obvious symptoms. It generally shortens the life span of the adult bees so the hive dwindles or doesn't build up normally.

There is no reason to suspect foulbrood, just because a dead hive stinks. Foulbrood has a very distinct odor, one that old timers can pick up where others may not. If you have dead brood in the hive, the best thing to do is to cut a one inch square, wrap it in paper and put it in a little cardboard box. Sent to USDA, Beltsville.

You can see pictures of AFB at
http://picasaweb.google.com/peterlborst/AFB
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your replies, it gives me the hope.:thumbsup:
How long does it take to get the results back from Belstville ?
 

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Could be you smell some fermented honey. Nectar that gets wet in the hive, or that was not cured well, will sometimes ferment, giving a sour kind of smell.
 

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I am curious...most pictures of AFB show gooey/melting bees ... are they always in that condition? or can they be intact and able to be removed in one piece? Also, so many smells have been simulated...maybe they should consider selling little vials that simulate the smell of AFB for those of us that have not smelled it.
 

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>I am curious...most pictures of AFB show gooey/melting bees ... are they always in that condition?

They always melt first, then they dry to scale that the bees can't remove...

> or can they be intact and able to be removed in one piece?

Not that I've seen.

> Also, so many smells have been simulated...maybe they should consider selling little vials that simulate the smell of AFB for those of us that have not smelled it.

Great idea. The bee supply places could sell them with their beginner kits...
 
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