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What's the cause of this bee poo?

 
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imkeer
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Belgium, Antwerpen, Schilde

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:06 pm    Post subject: What's the cause of this bee poo? Reply with quote

[/img]
The bees is this colony have this for at least a month now. They are a bit restless, and kind of rub their bottom on the surface when they poo.
They are a young colony, placed in a Warré hive in the beginning of july. They came from a Kieler fertilisation box and were fed with sugar syrup made with bee tea (1:1) to promote comb building.

Does anyone know what this could be? And what can be done to help?

Luc
http://hapicultuur.be/nl
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is 'bee tea'?

Nosema is the first thing that springs to mind when I see dysentery like this.
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imkeer
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Belgium, Antwerpen, Schilde

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A herbal tea recipe that is used globally by I don't know how many people, specifically for bees.
It contains Chamomile (flower), Yarrow, Stinging Nettle, Dandelion (flower), Peppermint, Sage, Hyssop, Thyme, "Agastache foeniculum", Lemon Balm, St. John's wort, Wormwood ("Artemisia absinthium"), Horsetail, Valerian (flower)
and Common Rue.
I make a herbal tea with this that's not too strong, and use this when making sugar syrup in stead of water.

Before anyone thinks that this is the cause, I would like to say that I have used this recipe since 2012, at the moment I am feeding more than 20 colonies with it and there is only one that has these symptoms.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure this is diarrhoea, some sort of gut disfunction. It could be nosema or tracheal mites. Or lack of water!

Usually nosema excrements are brownish and the streaks are like a line of spots. Dotted. Mites produce yellowish but very thin excrements. In the pictures the streaks seem to be thick.

Kill some bees and pull out the last segment of her butt, pulling out the gut/intestines. If it is whiteish and milky and swollen it is most likely nosema. This is how a healthy gut looks like:






Under a microscope it can be distinguished between nosema and tracheal mites. If you find only hard yellow poo in the gut, the bees might have a water problem: thirst. Some hives with lots of young bees and too little foragers do lack water, especially on cold days. A sponge with some water placed inside the hive helps!

Check the inside of the hive, as long as they poo outside the hive only, the hive might heal itself. If you find poo all over the inside and combs, do a shakedown into a clean hive.

Care for fresh clean water near the bees. Use a sponge with water inside the hive or spray the combs with thin sugar water lightly. If you can buy Nozevit, an extract of a special oak tree, use it to feed to the bees. It is adstringent and helps with other bowel problems, too. Leave out the bee tea, it does more harm than good.

So check for nosema, tracheal mites and the texture of the poo inside the guts. If it is just water shortage, it can be helped quickly.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
What is 'bee tea'?


This is my second year mixing bee tea into sugar syrup for me ladies and all 6 of mine overwintered very well indeed on it. I use Chamomile, Nettle and Yarrow (cup of hot tea from my garden) and a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar per 5kg sugar and 3 liters of water. Nice taste and color.

Can feeding sugar syrup help with this Nosema?
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is no medicine. But some tea is at some time, especially with diarrhoea, not the best idea.

Syrup has an acid note, low pH. Sugar water, mixed by yourself, tends to grow molds. Both strong ingredients of a tea and molds in he mixture are no good to the bees. Plus the sugar water contains a lot of water which evaporates in the hive, making the hive climate sort of wet. A humid hive climate grows fungi again and diseases. A strong hive can dry the hive, but if there is a slight weakness this can go wrong.
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imkeer
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Belgium, Antwerpen, Schilde

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We stopped giving bee tea, and gave inverted sugar syrup. No more diarrheoea...
We pulled some bees and saw this:
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guts look OK to me. (The intestine walls appear a bit thin, though.) Shouldn't be nosema. You could use a microscope and look into the trachea to exclude tracheal mites, but because the diarrhoe stopped by using another food the cause might be found.

Bee intestines are very sensitive and tea can cause trouble if the guts are weakened. It is like us: if you feel ill you can't drink some teas.

I experienced the same, Luc, with teas and especially with essential oils I tried. And some fats. (Macadamia and coconut fats...no good.) From what I have experienced, I became very careful about using additions to bee food.

Bernhard
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imkeer
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Belgium, Antwerpen, Schilde

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noticed some small round objects in the last part of some of the guts...

?

Thanks for all the help !

Luc P. (BE)
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a microscope to have a closer look to those objects?

If not, send me a sample conserved in alcohol, I will look at it.
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