August Meeting Notes

Bee Nosema

Nosema Apis

  • a serious disease in northern temperate climates that is caused by a fungal microsporidia
  • Its one of the top 4 reasons for hive death
  • wikipedia can be inaccurate
  • it affects the bees in the Fecal-Oral route
  • Its stronger in the spring/fall
  • It affects the bee’s salivary glands so they have a hard time dissolving crystallized honey (especially during winter)
  • high prevalence of Nosema in Alberta
  • Nosema Serana is another version but it can move through cell walls so it can affect royal jelly production and can reduce honey production

Treat with Fumagilin

  • to help with reduced spring build up
  • A spot treatment can help it turn around in a week
  • No fumigilan is used in Australia, New Zealand and Europe but it works well in Alberta and is necessary
  • Antibiotic resistance concerns if used inappropriately
  • Be careful with it – it contains a known mutagen that causes tumors in humans, the chemical in it called DCH is the worst part, the DCH is a salt used to percipitate fumigilan into a powder form
  • Location is a big factor, air movement and sunny place can make a big difference in the infection rates


Fumagilin Dosage

– the Drench method is reported to be more effective for heavy infections but adding it to the feed is also know to work

Check the labelling but it commonly used as:

1 tsp fumigilan per litre
– 250 ml for each hive
– 4 treatments, one week apart

First pail in the spring is treated with fumagilin

Other Questions/Answers/Topics:

How much sugar water to feed the bees?

70/30 honey/sugar of the 120lb hive going into winter…means 40 lbs of sugar water

When to start feeding?

Sept 10 or 12 for fall feeding – right after first hard frost
– don’t feed too late to avoid moisture issues in the hive going into winter

First pail in the spring is treated with fumagilin

– when using a shaker to test for mites, 300 bees = an inch of bees in the shaker
– anything over 3 mites and it is time to treat!


Suggested process for Apivar strips?

Apivar – 2 strips on center frame (top box)
3-4 days of treatment with sticky board
– count 15 black dots?
Another 4 days with sticky board
– count 7 dots?
Another 4 days
– count 2 dots
If the count is zero after three weeks then stop treating, wrap and freeze the strips and use them for 3 weeks in spring.

Wrap after testing for varroa – late Sept (Before first snow)


How to help prevent mold in the hive?

Extra strip of space for air to be moved for winter to prevent mold.  1/4 inch of space


Cor’s spring unwrap suggested method:

Unwrap, put top box on the bottom,  check size of brood, one fist size = replace queen,  two fists of brood = good queen!