I attended the MN Honey Producers summer meeting in St Cloud on Friday. There were several speakers talking about bee nutrition, residue from a pesticide called Imidichloropid, and information about nosema ceranae.
Beekeepers at the meeting all seemed to be having a poor nectar flow up to this point. They are hoping the late spring has moved the nectar flow back and that it will pick up in the very near future.
Imidichloropid's are a nicotine based pesticides widely used in landscape plantings and many other Agriculture products. As beekeepers what we are concerned about is residual pesticide that are possibly winding up in the nectar of some flower bearing plants. Are these compounds part of the CCD debate? More data is needed. France has done some research on these compounds. The reader should look at their findings and make your own conclusions.
Nosema Cerane is a mid gut disease that can cause the death of a colony of bees. Most beekeepers are familiar with Nosema Apis which usually shows up in spring then will go away by late May early June. It is time predictable when we would see this condition. Nosema Apis usually would hit Northern beekeepers, Southern beekeepers usually never would never get this disease.
Nosema Cerane on the other hand can strike at any time of the year. North or South. This condition has rapidly spread throughout The U.S. Possibly a cause of CCD.
It affects older bees and will kill infected bees in 8 days. Larvae and younger bees don't get it until later in their life. Once a bee gets this they usually can't recover. This disease will cause a strong colony to dwindle down, getting weaker with time.
Nosema Apis is very obvious if a colony has it. Nosema Cerane can be diagnosed using a sample of forager bees and a procedure to look at the sample under a microscope looking for a spore count. While most beekeepers do not have a microscope, looking for colonies that are showing symptoms possibly should be treated with Fumigilan-B.
Both Nosema Apis and Nosema Cerane respond well to treatment with Fumigilan-B. Follow the manufacturers information on the label for application.