Monday, January 4, 2010
A New Nosema
Researchers studying honey bee health found that Nosema apis has been largely replaced by a more virulent strain of the disease, Nosema ceranae. This replacement of diseases is itself an unusual occurrence. Nosema ceranae is a disease of the Asian honey bee, a different species from our European honey bee. While the original Nosema was known as a rarely deadly, winter-time condition, the new strain is an around-the-year disease that is suspected as being associated with Colony Collapse Disorder. Fortunately, for the beekeeper there is good news; Nosema can be controlled by feeding sugar water treated with Fumagillin in either the fall or early spring. Placing bee hives facing the south where the sun warms the hive entrance encourages flying. Considerable advantage in fighting Nosema disease can be gained by regularly changing out old honeycomb, thus removing the disease-causing spores. Today’s photo shows hive-top feeders in use.