Best Management Practices for Disease Control/Nosema
Evidence suggests that the presence of Nosema is contributing to honey bee health problems.
Why is Nosema harmful to Honey Bees?
Scientists agree that Nosema ceranae is the most prevalent and economically damaging of the honey bee diseases. In serious cases of Nosema, the colony may eventually die.
Do your colonies have Nosema?
- Important to monitor your bees for Nosema (N. apis and N. ceranae) - early detection is key - and treat to reduce levels if warranted.
- Monitor Nosema levels and colony condition.
- Check often, ideally monthly
- Random sampling of hives
How to check for Nosema
- Collect live or fresh dead bees from the hive entrance or from top bars of the frames.
- On-site microscopic examination of the honey bee gut for spore count.
- When levels exceed 1 million spores per bee, colonies can exhibit dwindling, but this will not always be the case.
How to treat for for Nosema
- Chemical control with Fumigillin
o Practice judicious treatment.
o Follow proper preparation, storage and application.
o Clean comb
o Clean or replace contaminated equipment
o Good "Fall Flow" of natural or wild forage, proper nutrition eases stress.
o Strong immune system = healthy bees.
o Treat based on your risk assessment and previous experience.
Are your treatments working?
- Recheck for efficacy
- Don't assume
The Beekeeper's Goal
- Watch your Nosema levels; Nosema can appear quickly.
- Be aware that Nosema in the presence of high mite levels can compromise colony health.
- Constant monitoring and treatment is critical for healthy hives.