Practical treatment for mild Nosema

Don’t panic! Most bees will show a few spores when tested.

Nosema needs controlling and here are a few simple things you can do to give your bees the best start in spring.

● Replace the brood box, floor and crown board with clean sterilised kit.

Give your bees new foundation. You can undertake either a Bailey Comb change (for weaker colonies), shook swarm (for strong colonies) or any other method you normally use as part of your spring clean. New wax foundation usually invigorates the bees and gives them a good start in spring.

● You can add Thymol to your spring feed (1:1 sugar syrup) in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Thymol acts as a fungicide and is made from oil of Thyme. Some research has shown this treatment helps to reduce microsporidian spores. Please note however, Thymol is not an approved treatment for Nosema. You should also remember that Thymol can leave a residue in honey.

● HiveAlive is a complementary feed that is claimed to promote good health and well- being in bees stating that healthy bees are more able to fight diseases such as Nosema. Active ingredients are: Thymol, Lemon Grass and Oceashield seaweed extract. Hive Alive

● Try not to squash bees when doing an inspection. An infected worker bee can carry up to 50 million spores in its gut.

● Minimise bee stress. Take care during inspections not to over-smoke, keep the hive open too long or drop frames. Always take care to handle your bees as gently as possible.

● There is no approved medicine to treat Nosema.

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