Nosema, symptoms and treatment. Information about bees and Beekeeping.
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Nosema is caused by one cell parasite called nosema apis.  Once it gets into the bee it starts multiplying so that it splits in two.  It is actually eating bee from the inside, and when had enough it splits.  Then again each organism splits in two and so on.  Eventually what happens is that bees defecate more and more often, trying to clean themselves because parasite is attacking their digestive system.  If they have no time to do it outside of the hive they will do it anywhere, inside of the hive or at the entrance.  They can have such symptoms caused by few other reasons also, for example when bees eat something indigestible, but is usually a sign of the nosema disease. 

It happens mostly during winter and early spring, or better say, it becomes visible then.  It may happen anytime of the year but it may go undetected, because bees can have cleansing flights.  So nosema can be seen when bees are confined to hive, in areas where outside temperatures are usually below freezing for a long time.  It spreads so that while some bees defecate inside the hive because of the cold weather outside, other bees are trying to clean up the mess and they pick up the disease in the process.  Worker bees are unable to do their regular duties and everything becomes disrupted. 


Fumagilin is what is used here.  It is used for both, prevention and treatment of bees. It works so that it prevents parasite reproduction.  Time of preventive application is usually in the autumn and the medication should be administered during one month time in order to free the bees from the disease.  And being given preventively is the best way to go.  As with any treatment it must be taken care of the medicine not to find its way into honey.  Generally 1 gram of active fumagilin is enough for 5 - 6 colonies.  It is recommended to mix one teaspoon of fumagilin with 1 gallon of sugar syrup and give it to the bees so that 1 gallon is given to one chamber full of bees.  If two chambers, give double the amount. 

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