Nosema is caused by the nosema apis microbe.
Age of brood affected
Adult bees including:
Adult bees ingest nosema spores from:
- contaminated food or water
- food exchange with other bees
- cleaning contaminated combs.
These symptoms may indicate nosema infection:
- Bees unable to fly. They may crawl on the ground with their hind wings at an unusual angle.
- Greasy abdomen.
- Hives may be covered in faecal matter due to dysentery.
- Dead bees at the hive entrance.
- Reduced colony population.
Most symptoms of nosema apply to other diseases. Diagnosing nosema from symptoms can be difficult.
The following steps can reduce risk of nosema:
- Place hives in sunny areas. Hives in the sun that are sheltered from cold, wind, and rain have much less chance of developing nosema.
- Pack colonies in a small space for winter. They will be kept warmer which reduces risk of nosema developing. Reduce colonies to single or 2-storey hives.
- Replace old, dark brood combs. Spores will be reduced within the hive.
- Make high quality pollen available nearby to reduce any protein deficiency.
- Avoid stressing the colony from early autumn onwards.
- provide appropriate nutrition
- place young queens in hives with large populations
- use new combs regularly
- place hives in dry, sunny locations.
Send 30 sick or freshly dead bees from the hive entrance or top bars of the frame for testing. Place live bees in a cage or jar with holes in the lid and some queen candy. Newly dead bees can be sent frozen.
Send samples to: