Possible breakthrough

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Drone Bee
Nov 14, 2008
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Warboys, CAMBS
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nil bees given away all colonies
I came acros this article from another forum and thought it might be of interest to members.

Bee Alert Technology, Inc., Missoula, MT
Heating Kills Honey Bee Pathogen
Bozeman, Montana-April 24 , 2008 ? Researchers at Montana State University have discovered a possible treatment to sterilize beekeeping equipment exposed to Nosema ceranae, according to Dr. Robert Cramer, an expert in fungal pathogenesis.

Using a technique called flow cytometry to measure the viability of the fungal spores of N. ceranae, Julie Elser in the Cramer Lab discovered that treatment of the spores with heat at 50?C (122?F) for 90 minutes led to 96% mortality of the spores. Similar treatment of the spores with extreme cold did not significantly affect viability.
While these results are preliminary, the ease, cost, and safety of heat treatment suggests that beekeeping equipment could be disinfected at temperatures that will not melt the wax in the combs.
Randy Oliver, a California beekeeper, who has been writing about Nosema and coordinating with the researchers, comments: "This is an important confirmation of a potential practical method for comb sterilization, that could be of immense benefit to the industry. It confirms a body of research on the previously known Nosema apis which suggested that N. apis spores were susceptible to heat treatments. The demonstrated heat sensitivity helps to explain the newer Nosema ceranae epidemiology. But until the actual Cramer trial, we did not know if the Nosema apis sterilization data was applicable."
Many beekeepers have hot rooms that could be used to clean up comb, says Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, CEO of Bee Alert Technology, Inc. in Missoula, MT. At this time of the year, beekeepers who have lost bee colonies to Nosema disease may be reluctant to put new bees on to old combs, fearing re-infection. A 2-3 hour exposure of bee equipment to temperatures around 120?F may be warranted.

Bee Alert is working with the Cramer lab, Randy Oliver, and other beekeepers to set up field trials of the effectiveness of heat treatment. Funding for the Nosema research was provided by the California State Beekeepers Association and the Montana Agricultural Research Experiment Station.

The melting point for beeswax is 62-64 degrees C or 144-147 degrees F.

Lets hope there is an outcome that is benificial to beekeepers.

Thanks for that Mo,
12c is a differencial that could take some engineering:confused:.
Destratifying fans would be a requirement I should think.
Having experience in industrial heat treatments leads me to suspect that unless a properly controlled environment is maintained, HOT and or Cold spots could occur in the combs to be sterilised ! resulting in collapse of combs on the one hand or survival of spores on the other ?


PS , on the other hand a salvaged fan assisted oven, could be used to experiment having first fitted a lab quality thermostat :)
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