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Posted 28 December 06


Dear John, (Editor Morayshire Beekeepers Web Page) Scotland.

Nosema Ceranae & Denmark

As you know I am not going out of my way to get involved in debate or writing any more articles on beekeeping for the time being because of the abuse that has been passed around by British backwoodsman beekeepers. Who do not want to change their own ways, ( a bit like Aesops fabel fox that lost its tail ) and take on board the message that Danish & European beekeeping has been passing on about the need for a root & branch approach to changing management styles, hygiene, and bee husbandry from the traditional leave well alone, and not change combs etc.

I have been talking however to my Danish beekeeping colleagues about the problems  ‘Nosema Ceranae’  is presenting beekeepers with, and I noticed that you had an article on it on your web page, when you asked if you could use my article on ‘ Oxalic Trickling’ method  . Which by the way (my article) is causing endless distress for ‘British Bee **** **** ****, & others who wish to argue about the amounts & strength of the mixture rather then trying what we in Denmark, recommend or empirically (using scientific principles find the dose which suits).

Though we in Denmark are very happy with the recommended mixes we recommend in the article you have on your web page. As I have pointed out to you the mix is not stable chemical mix! So it should be freshly mixed for maximum effect, (In Denmark we have Beekeepers meetings were mixes are made by some train who passes the knowledge on and sell the mix at cost or a small profit for association in poison bottles correctly labelled and supplying syringes at cost).

It should be kept in a cool dark place, and used at babies bottle or look warm temperature in about 14 days of mixing. Though it will with very careful storage last 5 – 6 months in dark dry place, but its best to mix again, as it tends to become toxic after about 14 days, this is the reason why we do not recommend it retail sale by beekeeping suppliers, as it has a very short shelf life. All this advises is too much for some of the Agro Chemical / Pharmaceutical inclined Primo Dona’s, but as I say they will be looking for a new hobby in short time.

But I thought I would check what you are saying about Nosema Ceranae and high winter death rates in view of the discussion we have had in Denmark.

In fact there is an article on the topic in the Danish Beekeeper Magazine for December 2006 which more or less echo’s what you say its by Robert Paxton ‘ Queens University Belfast, Julia Klee, Andrea Besana and Per Kryer of Denmark’s Agricultural Research Centre, Flakkeberg, Forsøsogsvej 1, 4200 Slagelse, Denmark. Email

They make the point that ‘ Nosema Ceranae’ seems to be wide spread in Denmark & most of Europe. That the Danish Government is offering a free sampling service in 2007 for beekeepers to send in sample of dead bees from colonies which die this Winter 2006/2007, too ascertain the how wide spread it is in Denmark. But the basic recommendations to avoid its spread are what I have been trying with out a lot of success to explain to UK & Irish Beekeepers this past 14 years or so about Varroa, Nosema Ceranae seems to go hand in glove with varroa.

..... That is hygiene, changing of all frames, washing in caustic soda and brown soap; the wax melted at temp, and processed which kills the nosema spores.

 Beehives, which are covered in detritus from the early spring cleansing flights, would be doing the bees a favour by washing the hives with warm soapy water. The contents of a nosema spore in an infected bee is over 10 million infections spores, and just 100 spores is enough to start an new infection in young bees or another colony. It makes the point its important this spring to check winter loses and send samples of dead bees of for analysis for N Ceranae.

By David Ashton© Agric Journalist 26.12.2006


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