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Sick Bees – Part 13: Simple Microscopy of Nosema for beekeepers

CONTENTS Equipment Needed Taking Bee Samples Processing the Samples Bringing the Spores into Focus Spore Identification Counting the Spores Care and Feeding of your Microscope Coming Up Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First published in ABJ November 2011–this article extensively revised in March 2019. It is greatly surprising to me that with the great interest by beekeepers […]

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The “Nosema Twins” – Part 2 Detection & Microscopy

© Randy Oliver Last fall, getting wind of Nosema ceranae, I carefully collected a few bees from a dozen or so hives from each yard, and sent the whole pooled sample of 500 bees off to a lab for a nosema spore count. The results came back at less than a million spores per bee, […]

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Field of View Count Correlation

Report to the California State Beekeepers Association by Randy Oliver 2008 Determination of “spore count” Nosema infection level is reported in a standardized “spore count” of “average number of spores per bee,” generally given in millions (1 million = 1 x 106). The “standard method” of Cantwell (1970) involves the use of a hemacytometer. However, […]

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Protocol for rapid preparation of nosema spore samples

by Randy Oliver Updates 4/13/09 Make sure that any sample contains enough bees–35-50 appears to be the minimum for any sort of accuracy. 100 would be better, especially at lower infestation rates. House bees generally do not exhibit spores unless the colony is in the last stages of collapse. A hemacytomer is unnecessary unless you […]

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