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I am a 2nd year beekeeper and am trying to use organic methods,last year i sent some bees for nosema testing and all hives came back clear,My question is
should i leave it alone or treat with something,if im nosema free in the fall is it something i need to worry about in the spring.unsure of what my next step would be to stay organic.
thanks for any advise
 

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Nosema Disease

Condensed from an article by Clarence Collison and Audry Sheridan in Jan 2010 Bee Culture.

Nosema disease is one of the most prevalent adult honeybee diseases and is caused by two species of microsporida. Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae.
Nosema is spread when adult bees ingest Nosema spores when they are eating contaminated food and when they are cleaning up fecal material from infected bees. The spores germinate within the midgut and release polar tubes that transfer their sporoplasm into the midgut cells where they generate more spores. A few weeks after initial infection the spores excreted with feces become new sources of infection in the colonies.
Although infected bees do not exhibit obvious disease symptoms, infection of Nosema causes digestive disorders, shortens the life span of honeybees, decreases population size of honeybee colonies and reduces honey production and crop pollination.
Nosema ceranae is associated with reduction in honey production and increased winter mortality.
Nosema free bees inoculated with 125,000 n. ceranae spores had a 100 % mortality rate in 8 days.
A study showed that bees infected with N. ceranae had a higher hunger level that leads to reduced survival and concluded that energetic stress is the probable cause of the shortened life span. It also indicated that infected bees have a reduction in the capacity to feed larvae royal jelly therefore the brood suffers.
Queens infected with active Nosema eventually ceased oviposition and became sluggish and the last batch of eggs laid often dried up in their cells.
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Ski’s note:
I was taught that you treat bees when you have a problem, and with Nosema Apis you will see bee poop in the hive or on the outside of the hive but with Nosema ceranae you will notice the problem when the bees are dead. Treating with Fumagilin-B in the spring and fall per the directions has reportedly taken care of both types of Nosema.
 

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When feeding your bees for the winter mix 2 grams Thymol per 3 liter in your 1:1 syrup and the Nosema problem is gone. Don’t use thyme oil, the concentration of Thymol is to low (max. 74%).

Solve 2 grams Thymol crystals in 5ml 95% alcohol and mix the solution with 3 liter syrup. Check the internet for “Thymol against Nosema”.
 

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There are reports from all over that nosema is not the villain it was predicted to be

> The relative weight of nosema disease in the mortality of overwintered colonies is a controversial matter. Higes et al. and Martin-Hernandez et al. attribute a major effect to Nosema infections in the mortality of colonies. However, there is no conclusive evidence to affirm that Nosema is an important factor in the recent honey bee die-offs worldwide.

> Certainly our results do not support the arguments of Higes et al. and Martin- Hernandez et al. It is possible however, that the same honey bee parasites may cause varying degrees of damage depending on their geographical locations. Nosema disease and tracheal mites did not show a significant effect on bee populations [in Ontario].

Ernesto Guzman-Novoa. 2010. Varroa destructor is the main culprit for the death and reduced populations of overwintered honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in Ontario, Canada
By the way, thymol in sirup is not approved for the treatment of nosema. I don't care if you do it, but if you contaminate your honey you have only yourself to blame. Also, fumagillin is not approved in European Union countries; they don't allow any antibiotics in hives.
 
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