Nosema Ceranae - What can a new beekeeper expect?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by kemptville, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    Recently (May 19th) I installed two 4-frame nucs into 2 10-frame hive bodies and did my first inspection on May 27th. On June 3rd after a few days of rain, I discovered one of the hives was troubled with Dysentery on the outside of the hive which got me a little worried. I checked it again on June 6th and noticed the Dysentery worsened so I decided to take the matter up with a local bee inspector who told me it was odd to experience dysentery this late in spring. He instructed me to have my colonies tested for possible Nosema which I collected a sample of 25 bees from hive and sent them to him for analysis. That same day, I inspected my hives on the inside for any signs of dysentery which resulted in none.

    Yesterday I got the results of the Nosema test I had done the week before and was told the "normal" threshold for nosema was under a million spores per bee. The results of my composite test (both hives combined) came back at 3.5 million spores per bee and another at 3.8 million for an avergae of 3.675 million spores per bee. I was told by the inspector that he didn't suspect Nosema Apis but Nosema Ceranae instead and told me to start treating the hives with Fumagilin-B which I had already started a week ago as a precaution.

    As a new beekeeper, I'm baffled by all of this. And have tons of questions... Should I be concerned? What can I expect in the next few months? How quickly does Nosema Ceranae spread? Was this disease present in the nucs when I purchased them or did it manifest itself up to 3.675 million spores in the 24 days I have had the nucs? Where did it come from? Should I give up and let the hives fail?

    I would appreciate all the information I can get on Nosema C.

    Thanks!
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I would not be too concerned if you have begun treatment with fumadil. If you were hoping to go "treatment free" and decide to let them be, they may still be alright.
    My guess is that it was present when you purchased the nucs.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the short answer is pretty much what Perrybee says above...

    the longer answer is:
    for most beekeepers nosema c. is the most prevalent disease of the day. nosema itself is an odd disease (if you read the old historical accounts of nosema a. + the new stuff on nosema c.) in that it was a difficult disease to do field trial in that you could douse a hive with the spores which would initially show some results and then a flow would start and the disease would not so mysteriously disappear.

    by and large nosema c is likely present in a lot of hive but only shows itself when a hive (nuc or whatever) is stressed. you stress a hive and it magically manifest itself and you have some positive environment factors (like a flow or good flying weather and some fresh pollen to collect) and the disease just as mysteriously disappears.

    from this I guess you might get the message that sometimes doing nothing means the hive will make a miraculous recovery and just as often sometimes it will slowly dwindle to nothing. for folks like myself with lots of hive loosing one is not so hard but if you just have one or two taking the chance on loosing even one is a bit harder. I myself do not clump all treatments as one and the same thing and do no look at fumidil (used in a reasonable and sparing manner) as having any long term negative effects.

    most folks that rear queen or produce packages do use fumidil to some degree. or perhaps I should add.... if they don't you need to look for someone that does.