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“Nosema may not exhibit overt visual cues, but its presence can manifest through fecal matter on hive surfaces, a telltale sign known as dysentery. Additionally, infected bees might display swollen, greasy-looking abdomens, unusual wing postures, and tremors. Weak colonies and unanticipated deaths also raise suspicions of Nosema infestation.

In this video, we will explore how to complete a nosema field test.

Collect around 100 older bees per hive during spring and fall, mainly from honey frames. Place the bees in a sealed jar filled two-thirds with rubbing alcohol.

Once you are out of the field, drain the alcohol.

Transfer the dried bees to a ziplock bag and seal it.

Add 100ml of water to the ziplock bag, approximately 1ml per bee.

Carefully crush the bees. A rolling pin may be used as a household tool. Using a pipette, transfer 2-3 drops of the liquid from the bag to the Neubauer hemocytometer. Allow it to settle for 2-3 minutes.

Place the hemocytometer under the microscopeáand examine at 400x magnification.

Calculate the spore count per bee by multiplying the total counted spores in the five squares by 25,000.

For more comprehensive guidance, consider consulting your provincial apiculturalist. But, for the most accurate assessment, sending a sample to a diagnostic center is recommended.”

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