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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sent a sample of bees from a dead hive to Beltsville about two weeks ago. When can I expect to hear the results of their testing?
 

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With everyone that had a hive die that sent samples to Beltsville once warmer weather came it could be a while. Even the people depending on there bees for income with more experience and more knowledge than the average beekeeper that need there samples done ASAP have to wait longer than usual. If it is really important that you find out the result soon call Bart and ask him. 301-504-8821
 

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I sent a sample of bees from a dead hive to Beltsville about two weeks ago. When can I expect to hear the results of their testing?
What are you hoping to find or hoping not to find? What can be told from dead bees? Any time I have sent samples to Beltsville the bees had to be alive prior to taking the sample. I don't think that they can disect dead bees and tell you anything about the nosema count or the varroa count. But if they can, I'd be interested in hearing so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I received an email from the report today. My sample had arrived on March 22--not an unreasonable amount of time. I sent the sample of about 100 recently deceased bees in a small plastic jar, and requested that the bees be tested for varroa, nosema and tracheal mites.

The nosema sp. count was very high. I had not treated for the disease, trying not to add medications to the hive, but will treat this year.

If my new packages have been treated for nosema, can I use the remaining comb and honey from the dead hive?
 

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If my new packages have been treated for nosema, can I use the remaining comb and honey from the dead hive?
Yes, I had this exact situation a few years ago and all the comb has since been used in multiple colonies.

Some folks say air the equipment out before using. Light I guess help break down the nosema spores.

K
 

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I don't think that they can dissect dead bees and tell you anything about the nosema count or the varroa count. But if they can, I'd be interested in hearing so.
We sent dead bees to Beltsville in 2008. Some had counts of 40 -50 million spores. When examining bees for nosema, they smash them up, add water and presto!

All kidding aside, a spore forming organism like this is very hard to eradicate. In the 1960s Bailey experimented with acetic acid fumigation of combs. Do not try this at home! We are not talking about vinegar here, but full strength acetic acid.

I rather doubt that "exposing your bee boxes to light" will have much effect. The spores, if present, will be down in the cells, where the sun don't shine.

About the only things that are known to kill spores are strong acids, alkalies, radiation, and high temperatures. Most of these aren't really practical except acetic acid. Radiation is not cost effective in most cases.
 

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The nosema sp. count was very high. I had not treated for the disease, trying not to add medications to the hive, but will treat this year.

If my new packages have been treated for nosema, can I use the remaining comb and honey from the dead hive?
How high is very high? Jerry Bromenshenk wrote, over on Bee-L:

As per high Nosema spore counts - I've now seen bees with huge spore
counts, confirmed by PCR to be N. ceranae, and the colonies look good - from
Hawaii and scattered locations in the midwest and southern states of the
continental U.S.
In fact, I cited work from Germany which seems to indicate that nosema is not really a serious problem for bees there, despite high spore counts. I would avoid fumagillin, as it is a potent antibiotic and may have negative effects on your bees' microflora, aside from possibly being a waste of money.

Insofar as dead comb goes, bees are remarkably good at cleaning nasty old hives, they have been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years. The colony collapse that has been associated with nosema may in fact be viral in nature, in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The report stated that there was an average of 57,000,000 spores per bee, and 21 mites were detected in the sample.

The hive had survived until early March. I found hundreds of dead bees, but very few brood cells. This was a very productive first year hive. They took a lot of sugar syrup in the fall and there was a lot of food left.
 
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