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What to do about Nosema?

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mbc 

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you candrizzle a fumadil mix same as for oxalic. it doesnt have to be stroger than as per the label. i use a sguidgy lucozade bottle wth the sphincter type cap and give the bees a squirt.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Okay,will start by saying last spring i tested every colony for nosema, had 20+ colonys with heavy nosema infection,started to treat in the very mild weather in feb, they all responded really well to treatment,some were later given complete comb changes,but not all,later in spring a few more colonys also got nosema that previously tested clear,obviously drinking from the same contaminated water supply that had been crapped over by some of the infected colonys,so every hive in the affected apairys were treated.

Last autumn every full size colony and nuc was fed down with thymolated syrup,this spring have yet to find any signs of nosema in any colony,even weaker one's,and even in the one's that previously had very heavy nosema and had no comb changes,these colonys are in fact boiling over with bee's at the moment and many have had second brood chambers added,some were over wintered on double broods and are incredibly strong,some will be having two nuc's taken from each one very soon. Also as a slight side note i have detected no varroa mites in the vast majority of hives,very very few in some,and no oxalic used at all,reminds me of pre 2002 when i always fed thymolated syrup.

Poly Hive..........
The original recipe is simply 30g of thymol crystals dissolved in 150 of surgical spirit or isopropyl alcohol.........will keep indefinately and you add up to five ml of this per gallon of syrup feed,or if to simply stop fermentation 5ml per 3 gallons.
Problem with the above mixture is the oil tends to float on top of the syrup,obviously some of it is in the entire mix,but not in an equal suspension,so therefore not being stored in the combs as i would like it,and i believe is more effective if emulsified.

If you wish to carry out your own test add 10ml to a bucket containing 2 gallons of syrup,allow to settle,then with a thin tube syphon some surup from the bottom of the bucket into a clean cup,then take some syrup from the top of the bucket into another cup....then smell the difference....taste it..see which one gets you spitting for a few minutes.

Emulsified thymol pre mix.

30g thymol crystals placed in honey jar,add 5ml of isopropyl alcohol to the crystals,place jar into a water bath of boiling water to speed up the dissolving process.
In another jar pour in 140 ml of boiling water and add 1 teaspoon of lecithin granules, stir well,and place this jar into a water bath of boiling water,stirring often for abot ten minutes or so until most of the lecithin granules have dissolved,you can then strain this mixture through a teastrainer or similar to remove any granules that have not dissolved fully,then simply add the dissolved thymol to this mix,and shake well,will look just like a jar of milk.
To use add 5ml to each gallon of syrup and stir well,syrup will go milky,unlike when using the old original mix.
If the mixture forms any crystals at a later date,tip into old small pan and reheat,do this outdoors.
There are also other feed supplements availible such as vita feed,and nosevit ect,i have never tried these so cannot make any comment on them,but i will sure be sticking to what i know works well.

Ps in the past i have on occasion added two teaspoons of the old original mix 10ml per gallon with no ill effects on the bee's at all,but 5ml is plenty.
 
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Poly Hive 

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Thank you so much for taking the time to be so clear.

Excellent post.

PH
 

Bcrazy 

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Great post Hivemaker,
May I use your post into our new web site credit will be given where due.
 

wightbees 

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i have 25 ltrs of isopropyl, didn't know i could use it for bee keeping .
:)
 

Hivemaker. 

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No problem Bcrazy.
Was having a conversation with Allen Dick last night, an almost daily contributor on BEE-L,once ran 4000 colonys,now semi retired. Our conversation started of about one of the large scale queen breeders selling queens last year around the world infected with nosema, and the patchy results that some beekeepers were getting with fumidil,which some believe there is a resistance building up to this product. He then mentioned that his colonys seemed to suffer much more with nosema problems these days,and the problems seemed very widespread,we then got on to the subject of thymol as a good or much better alternative to fumidil,and asked how i prepared this mix. Well to cut a long story short he asked if he could post my method of emulsifying on his website and most of our entire conversation in his beekeepers diary.
 

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I am getting very confused indeed here Hivemaker.
I thought we were discussing thymol, and now lechithin is in the frame.
PH
Whoa there Poly Hive, you sound stressed. Put on your stripy shirt and sit in a cool dark peaceful place for an hour, with a wee dram if necessary, sip and swallow, no gargling.

T r a n q u i l i t y . . . There, wasn't that better :cheers2: (Just joking of course).

I'm sold on the benefits of thymolated syrup as an aid to the prevention of nosema. It is much cheaper and more available than Fumidil-b which is a prophylactic designed to stop the bee's gut from being attacked from the nosema spores. Prevention being by far the better option.

I like the idea of using lecithin to ensure a balanced distribution of thymol within the syrup through emulsification.
 

wilderness 

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Hivemaker,
Great post and will certainly be trying it.

I have a question about the lecithin. Lecithin is barely soluble in water so why did you go down this route?

I wonder if there is a bee friendly surfactant that would solubilise the thymol into the water?
 

Hivemaker. 

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I have a question about the lecithin. Lecithin is barely soluble in water so why did you go down this route?


Because it works well,and it dissolves very easily in boiling water to form a perfect emulsion,and it's also what is used in HBH to emulsify lemon grass oil and peppermint oil for feeding to bee's,plus it's also harmless to bee's.
 
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jezd 

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Okay,will start by saying last spring i tested every colony for nosema, had 20+ colonys with heavy nosema infection,started to treat in the very mild weather in feb, they all responded really well to treatment,some were later given complete comb changes,but not all,later in spring a few more colonys also got nosema that previously tested clear,obviously drinking from the same contaminated water supply that had been crapped over by some of the infected colonys,so every hive in the affected apairys were treated.
thanks for the info HM, is the above paragraph you mentioned treatment, was this thymolated syrup too (same as later feeding)?

JD
 

Hivemaker. 

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Yes,thymolated syrup Jez,you can also mist spray it directly on the bee's if they have bad nosema and won't take syrup from a feeder from the start,they will lick each other clean,so have no choice in taking the medication.
 

Poly Hive 

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How did it go?

Well the kitchen is now not smelling of thymol which is a GOOD thing. 24 hours later...

The Lecithin was unavailable as granules so I bought some capsules, this was a mistake as the substance inside them was a yellow gunge to start with and it was very difficult to work with, near impossible and I feel a waste of money.

Granules might be easier, I hope so.

The thymol dissolved in water with out any bother so I think I will just use water in future.

PH
 

jezd 

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:) I do like the thymol smell, PH thanks, in that case does it just disolved the thymol, vanish and distribute evenly?

Jez
 

Hivemaker. 

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Yes you need lecithin granules, without using this the thymol will simply not mix,will always simply separate, float on top the syrup/water,as any oil does.
 
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Poly Hive 

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I quite like it too but in a guest house.....;)

Yes it just dissolved in water, the thymol that is.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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Poly hive,please place a couple of teaspoons of thymol in a jar and add boiling water,then stand the jar and observe what happens as it cools,the thymol will simply melt,float on top of water,and then return to its crystaline form on the surface,like a hard crust,no good at all.
 
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grizzly 

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you need to follow the process as described to get even distribution of thymol throughout the syrup. if you dont it wont work.

For over a year now i have been making my syrup, dissolving the thymol in hot water and adding to the syrup mix, i would then shake profusely thinking the thymol had mixed.

The following day, i open the bottle, YUP stinks, so it must be good, not realising that the thymol had risen to the surface, the syrup underneath this was devoid of thymol, and there would be a crystalised ring at the top.

When you pour it into the feeder again it smells right, but once settled the thymol floats to the top, you then have to hope the bees take the lot, and if they do the last lot must be awfully strong.

I mix the thymol with surgical spirit, and dissolve the Lecithin granules purchased online in water as directed, the two mixtures are then combined at the end to form a liquid resembling milk but smelling very different.

When you pour this mix into syrup you can visibly see it mixing evenly throughout as it goes slightly cloudy.
 

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