What to do about Nosema?

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Queen Bee
Nov 7, 2008
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I was gutted to learn that one of my 3 colonies has Nosema badly (another found one or two spores and the other was clear). It didn't look like Ceranae to me, but there again, bloke from Stonleigh wouldn't comment and he is much more qualified to than me!

Have put Fumidil B syrup in a super above the crown board on badly infected colony only. It is a big colony in a poly hive and since crownboard hole is covered by feeder, hopefully won't make it into a wind tunnel. Was going to wait until I do my shook swarm or whatever before feeding the others Fumidil syrup.

Questions then.
1. Do you agree with plan to wait to feed Fumidil syrup to others? (At a pinch I could do other poly hive, but it might be tough on the colony in wood who have more challenge to keep warm and are small anyway.)
2. Since I have Nosema shall I put them all on clean foundation (Usually only change some of the brood box combs each year)
2. When should I try to test again for Nosema?
Is that the advice then Finman? just relax and it will pass? What if it is Ceranae? Won't there be spores in the comb???

maybe I should relax, but still not sure
The advice given to a member of my association who had quite a few colonies some with nosema some without was to treat all. Think the fella had 20+ colonies. This was when we all took samples to be tested last season.
Would you destroy the drawn comb in the supers too?
I would immerse them in water with some bleach in it and 24 hours later spi it dry in the extractor - you'll be surprised at how much muck comes out with the water!

It's also easy to simply stack your supers and treat them all with acetic in the Autumn.

Regards Ian
LOOK GUYS! The gang became mad!

You every one have nosema in your hives. Do you do yourself what you recommend now to do to Polyanwood?

Nosema is very usual in hives. And allways been. If it is cerana, then hive woud be dead.

I have never seen official advises that you should put bees to a new hive.

Nosema makes its bad during winter. The danger is over now in Uk.
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It's also easy to simply stack your supers and treat them all with acetic in the Autumn.

Regards Ian

That is funny advise too. The disease is in the brood hive and in the gut of bees. It does not harm in super store during winter.
Get the bees on to new equipment as soon as possible.
Best regards

And where you have got this? And you loose brood.

If the hive is full on poo, that is good advise, but if the nosema in accepted level, that is panic reaction.

If you read nosema researches, in NZ nosema is present in every colony.
In Denmark year after year it is 40-80%. There are differnet levels of disease.
Look in the middle of page http://www.beekeeping.com/articles/us/danish_varroa_report/index.htm
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Nosema makes its bad during winter. The danger is over now in Uk
Nosema outbreaks are helped by winter dysentry problems. Nosema is usually stress related. The worst cases of nosema I have ever seen have been during summer here in Cyprus wioth daily temps of over 35C. If you Brother Adam's books you will see that Buckfast had problems at the end of every summer.
Best regards
I know that Uk is in every way very special with its beekeeping. Nothing, which is usefull in other countries, it does not work on that lonely island.

I have read from some source that Buckfast is sensitive to nosema. Same with Caucasian bee.

Winter dysentry is severy form of nosema, but there are so wide range of contamination.

I see nosema affection in every spring when some hives are not able to consume pollen patty. When I give a frame of emerging bees from bigger hive, it start mostly build up. Nosema became more severe after that when varroa arrived. Often nosema spoils the laying queen.

Nosema is not so bad that you should jump to walls.
I have taken off the Fumidil B syrup because they were not taking it and it had bits of mould on top!

I have taken off the floor and sterilised it and put them on OMF - but it is supposed to be colder for a week now, so am thinking I will put them back on a solid floor for a while so that they have less trouble keeping warm. I think it is still too cold for this little colony (4 frames of brood) to do a Bailey frame change. Do you agree?

One of experienced beekeepers suggested Vitafeed Gold for treating Nosema. Has anyone used that. Apparently Maisemore only use that and never Fumidil B now.
Very helpful thanks. I have my thymol crystals on order already. :cheers2:

Is it worth me mixing up some Apiguard (thymol) with fondant then to see if they will take that given that they wouldn't take syrup? Or do you think that just neat Apiguard would work at this time of year? Got no supers on.
No,just placing in the hive is no good,the bee's need to drink.If they are so sick they will not then you can spray them on a warmish day with 2g of fumigillin in 1 litre of one 50/50 syrup. to feed thymol mix as following extract.

R.O.B Manley propagated the idea of using thymol in syrup intended for winter feeding in order to prevent fermentation and the growth of mould.

Thymol is only slightly soluble in water, but it is readily soluble in surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol in USA) which is ethanol to which a small amount of methanol has been added, to render it unfit to drink. It is normally used to sterilize surfaces and to cleanse skin abrasions and to toughen skin.

By using surgical spirit we can first produce a 'stock solution' that is miscible with sugar syrup or honey.

Manley's recipe has become a standard and even if the requirement is for a stronger solution, this is often specified as '3x Manley strength' or '4x Manley strength'. His original recipe was one ounce of thymol crystals dissolved in five fluid ounces of surgical spirit to make the stock solution. Then half a fluid ounce of this mixture was added to 1 Cwt (112 lbs) of sugar, which he dissolved in 7 imperial gallons (8.75 US Gal.) of water for direct use as winter feed. These obsolete units convert directly into 28.5 gm thymol crystals to 142 ml surgical spirit which is a ridiculous way of expressing it. However 30 gm thymol dissolved in 150 ml of surgical spirit will give a solution of the same strength and the figures are both more manageable and more easily remembered.

The stock solution is added to syrup at the rate of one teaspoon to a three gallon (imperial) quantity of syrup. This converts to 5 ml of stock solution in 13.5 litres, which is not a brilliant way of describing it, but the final strength is not critical. I have several plastic 'jerry' cans that hold 15 litres and I use 1, 2, 3 or 4 teaspoons of concentrate according to the strength that I require.

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