Nosema ceranae: Kiss of Death or Much Ado about Nothing? @ Scientific Beekeeping

Here at the Bee Smart beekeeping project, it is one of our goals to help facilitate a successful beekeeping experience.  Being that here in the U.S. are coming into our Spring season, if not already then very soon, it’s time to start looking at the things which can cause bee colonies to die at this point after having made it so far through the Winter.

Note that there are two most widely known types of Nosema, Nosema apis which has been here for a very long time, and Nosema ceranae which is the newer kid on the block of the two but every bit the troublemaker.

The linked article below by Randy Oliver at makes a terrific presentation of the situation which rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, we’d rather just point you in the direction of the wheel.

Randy mentions a chemical treatment in the article for situations calling for treatments in IPM plans that include such types of treatments.  However, Organic/treatment-free beekeepers want to pay very close attention to the things that can be done to help prevent Nosema from taking hold in the colony.

If you’d like to find out where the Beehooligans stand on dealing with Nosema after reading this article, head on over to our Forums on this website and sign up then browse through the sections and see where the discussion is.

This is more than a mere academic debate, as beekeepers worldwide are forced to make expensive management decisions, including very expensive antibiotic treatment and the sterilization of contaminated combs.

Source: Nosema ceranae: Kiss of Death or Much Ado about Nothing? @ Scientific Beekeeping

Bee Smart About Your Beekeeping Experiments

Here at the Bee Smart beekeeping project we advocate for having fun while beekeeping.  We advocate just as hard, if not harder, for “beeing smart” about beekeeping as well.  Beekeeping history is rife with stories of curious and pragmatic people working to learn more and find ways to improve on the understandings and practices involved in beekeeping.

Many a beekeeper is a tinkerer and “armchair” researcher as they go about figuring out how to tackle the latest challenge in their apiary.  What we are promoting here at Bee Smart is to get more people to take it to the next step and up their “mad beek scientist” game by participating in a more  technical process that provides documentation and a clear path of study and review for everyone and anyone to follow.

Many of us are already “scientists” in how we go about our researching of bees and beekeeping.  Science is a process, a method, not a status.  With the right mental approach and some training in how to prepare an experiment and properly document it, you can produce qualified and valid material much as anyone else can.  You can do it.  We beelieve in you.

So does Randy Oliver.  Randy believes it so much that as a biologist and entomologist AND a professional apiarist that he walks you through the process at his website  As a matter of fact, he goes so far as to provide us with a guide for setting up experiments.

Odds are, you may already be doing the work.  Why not add the structure and documentation of the scientific method to make it complete?  Going forward in the future, we want to hear from you, our “Mad Beekists” to see what we can do to help facilitate the scientific method for our citizen scientists.