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Microscopy


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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The “Nosema Twins” – Part 3 Sampling

© Randy Oliver My previous articles about Nosema ceranae may have grabbed your attention. Let me be clear that I’m not trying to be alarmist—not all operations have problems with nosema. In fact, I’ve got some colonies doing poorly despite having decent nutrition, low mite levels, low nosema counts, and (as far as I know) […]

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The “Nosema Twins” – Part 4 Treatment

© Randy Oliver Beekeepers had a hard enough time dealing with Nosema apis. What can we do about N. ceranae? Unfortunately, we are currently not very far up the learning curve. The best we can do is to take what we know about N. apis prevention and treatment, and modify it to hold our own […]

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The “Nosema Twins” – Part 5 Alternative Treatments

© Randy Oliver The more I learn about CCD and other colony maladies, the more I am impressed by the fact that honey bees are currently dealing with a complex of novel parasites, pathogens, vectors, stresses, and immunosuppressants. The nutrition/parasite/virus complex appears to me to be where the main action is, and viruses seem to […]

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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 It is greatly surprising to me that with the great interest by beekeepers in Nosema ceranae, how few actually make the effort to monitor the […]

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Sick Bees – Part 13: An Update on the “Nosema Cousins”

CONTENTS Worldwide Status and Distribution Ceranae vs. apis Coinfection Seasonality Sample Interpretation What if You’re Dealing with N. apis? Seasonality Recommendations Acknowledgements References Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com In my last article, I described how to quickly sample for nosema.  So what do the spore counts actually mean as far as colony health is concerned?  I wrote an […]

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Sick Bees – Part 14: An Update on the “Nosema Cousins”

Worldwide Status and Distribution Ceranae vs. apis Coinfection Seasonality Sample Interpretation What if You’re Dealing with N. apis? Seasonality Recommendations Acknowledgements References Randy Oliver In my last article, I described how to quickly sample for nosema.  So what do the spore counts actually mean as far as colony health is concerned?  I wrote an article […]

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Sick Bees – Part 15: An Improved Method for Nosema Sampling

Author’s Note Samples from Within the Hive Soundbite Science Infection Rate So How Did We Get on the Wrong Track? How to Determine the Colony Infection Rate So What if I Count the Number of Infected Bees out of 10? An Assessment of Our Situation One HUGE Assumption Validation of the Method Update Sequential Sampling […]

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Sick Bees – Part 16: The “Quick Squash” Method

Infection Prevalence Sequential Sampling A Neat Little Shortcut Validation Summary (completely subject to revision) More Details Next Month Acknowledgements References Randy Oliver Since the discovery of Nosema ceranae, I and many other beekeepers and researchers have been frustrated by the tedium and apparent futility of counting nosema spores, since many of us haven’t seen any […]

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Sick Bees – Part 17: Nosema – The Smoldering Epidemic

First published in: American Bee Journal, April, 2012

The Scientific Method Effect of the Invasion Why Would Nosema ceranae Not Cause Problems? Understanding Nosema Understanding the Honey Bee Superorganism Energy and Protein Metabolism References Part B Randy Oliver You may have noticed that I’m doing a sort of “about face” in my assessment of the impact of Nosema ceranae upon colony health. I […]

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