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Pablo

Bee Dysentery Cause

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A friend of mine made a split a few weeks ago and put a queen cell from a queen breeder. About three days ago he found the hive entrance covered with bee diarrhea as shown in the image. On opening, most of the bees inside where dead, very few bees left alive so this nuc won't survive. The parent hive hasn't shown any symptoms.

 

What could be the cause? Nosema? He has other nucs and hives around and want to make sure this is not passed to the other hives.

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IMG_20161014_163951.jpg.3d16ae83976ab62d029f136873f6014c.jpg

IMG_20161014_154700.jpg.23f18f74e3ec6e6b3d020689977a0823.jpg

IMG_20161014_163951.jpg.3d16ae83976ab62d029f136873f6014c.jpg

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This is too much to be made by a queen cell.

I will say it is from feeding - however probably the other hives were fed from the same source.

 

Do you know what was fed and how it was prepared? Was the feeder clean or reused from the autumn?

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Were they fed with brown sugar? If so that will give the bees bad dysentry. I would also be suspect of the main hive having an infection of Nosema and being evidenced in the nucleus as they are under stress caused by the spilt.

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If you google dysentery you will find it killed a lot of humans around war time. It is caused by a lack of bacillus subtillus in the stomach. When I feed syrup I also add a little sodium (salt) as its an alkalising mineral. It is also a main ingredient in electrolytes (along with glucose) if they do get a bit "ill thrift" it supports them well. Bac sub is usually also found in plants as a bacteria that aids chlorophyll production. If you look in the right places you can buy bac sub (which I use brew and use on the farm animals if they get scours... works wonders) Good luck with good management its usually very easy to fix or prevent.

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What could be the cause? Nosema? He has other nucs and hives around and want to make sure this is not passed to the other hives.[/QUOTe]

Were any old honey frames used in making the split? Fermented honey maybe?

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What are the other nucs like ? I have never seen anything like that before :eek:

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What are the other nucs like ? I have never seen anything like that before :eek:

I saw it once a couple of years ago, the first time I tried to populate a mating NUC. Basically I left them blocked in too long without anything to hold them. When I let them out it was poo city then they all absconded.

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A friend of mine made a split a few weeks ago and put a queen cell from a queen breeder. About three days ago he found the hive entrance covered with bee diarrhea as shown in the image. On opening, most of the bees inside where dead, very few bees left alive so this nuc won't survive. The parent hive hasn't shown any symptoms.

 

What could be the cause? Nosema? He has other nucs and hives around and want to make sure this is not passed to the other hives.

I have seen just one Nosema case similar but not as bad.

It was in a pair of nucs that wintered in a very damp spot.

From memory, both hive were shifted to a sunny spot and one survived.

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Thanks for the comments. As far as I know my friend doesn't feed sugar. He stores honey frames from the previous season. In the picture we were putting a feeder to see if that was going to help but then saw that most of them were dead anyway. It could have been something in the honey. I'll suggest he checks the honey frame.

The other nucs and hives on the same site are doing fine and this one gets more sun than some of the others.

I guess it is a good idea to keep an eye on the parent hive for any symptoms.

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Hi Pablo

 

Excellent photos! I am putting together bee biosecurity resources and I was wondering if I could publish the nuc box photo above in a visual ID guide (for dysentry)?

I will of course fully attribute the photo to the photographer, I am even happy to send you a copy of the finalised poduct!  :)

 

Thank you very much - my email is below for response

 

Hayley

hayley.pragert@mpi.govt.nz

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Historically this has been put down to Nosema apis. . . . but not when the hive dies from it. I would suggest getting 30-50 bees chucked into a ziplock bag and sent to @hpra at MPI

Interestingly Randy Oliver heard that the dysentery was due to a yeast, rather than N. apis

  • Good Info 3

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The bees look like they have died of heat stress either from too small an entrance or being blocked in too long.

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That entrance looks like a very small entrance to block.  I note that you do no comment when the bees chewed through the paper, or whatever you were blocking the entrance with.

 

I agree that this looks like heat stress in the hive.  Brood also looks like heat stress.

 

Raw sugar does not necessarily give dysentery.  I understand that it gives dysentery if the sugar gets contaminated.  My hives only have raw sugar as a back up, and at the end of winter I always dispose of this raw sugar.  I would certainly not recycle any raw sugar, or use any that I spilt on the ground.  If you can't always access an apiary due to weather, raw sugar if the temperature is above 14 degrees is a good back up.  The bees won't touch the stuff at a lower temp. 

 

 

I understand that Nosema can be transmitted in contaminated sugar, but I don't think this is Nosema. 

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5 hours ago, JohnF said:

Historically this has been put down to Nosema apis. . . . but not when the hive dies from it. I would suggest getting 30-50 bees chucked into a ziplock bag and sent to @hpra at MPI

Interestingly Randy Oliver heard that the dysentery was due to a yeast, rather than N. apis

keep in mind thats almost 3 years ago.

i think the bees will be long gone 

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1 hour ago, tristan said:

keep in mind thats almost 3 years ago.

i think the bees will be long gone 

 

Ha ha, true Tristan ! D’oh - didn’t check the date

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Interesting to see this post revived. Hayley, happy for you to use the pictures and I have sent you the originals by email.

 

As an update, my friend never saw anything like this again in his apiary so whatever the cause was, it wasn't contagious. I don't believe he blocked the entrance at any point but I guess we couldn't discard heat stress added to nosema, added to stress caused by splitting, and perhaps some fermented honey. Probably the sum of several causes contributed to these symptoms.

  • Agree 1

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