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Bee Dysentery?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Bee health: the treatment (or not) of bee pests and diseases
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SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:45 pm    Post subject: Bee Dysentery? Reply with quote

Hi folks. It's an early spring here in the Northwest, and my one hive of bees has been very active on many good, sunny days, bringing in much pollen.

Just yesterday, I noticed a couple of bee poop deposits on the side of the hive. Today, there are a few more. I caught one bee in the act leaving a big blob just above the entrance.

I did a search for bee dysentery on this site but didn't find much. I'm not a very good searcher. It's a miracle I can even figure out how to post a message.

These girls have come through the winter in Warre' hive that still weighs a ton, so I believe they have stores (too cold to open up and look around).

I'm reading what I can about dysentery and nosema, and want to know what I should do next?

Thanks for your help!
-Sue
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1563
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sue

I have one hive doing this too. I'm pretty sure it is dysentery rather than nosema (nosema stinks and you find quite dark brown streaks inside the hive on the comb.... if you put your nose near the entrance and inhale, you should easily be able to detect it). This, that I am seeing, is mostly mustard coloured and on the outside of the hive and has a bit of consistency to it.... not just liquid... and I think it may be caused by them eating ivy honey. I don't have a great deal of knowledge on this subject though so hopefully someone else will come along and correct me if I am wrong.

The same hive did this last year and I just left them alone and they got over it, so I don't plan to do anything other than observe this year. They are one of my less strong hives and they probably didn't bring in as much stores as the others, so it may be that they are having to hit the crystallised ivy honey reserves.

Hope it is the same for your hive and not nosema.

Regards

Barbara
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SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara, thank you for your reply. It is reassuring. The hive smells wonderful, and the droppings are not at all liquid---just that mustard yellow baby-poop stuff. My hive that failed a couple years ago was packed with crystalized honey. We have MUCH ivy around me---hillside woods covered in it, and I suspect this hive collected plenty.

For now, I will keep sniffing the entrance (and hoping not to get stung on the nose!), wiping away the poop blobs, and keeping my fingers crossed. This is the first hive I've ever had alive so early in the season, so I know little of early spring bee life.

I'd love to open the hive and take a look inside to see what's what, but it's just too cold yet. I may use a small flashlight and see if I can see into the bottom entrance and see the bottom screen.
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