Effects of Queen Source and Age of Colony on Nosema (Nosema, apis) Spore Load in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)
Bee colonies are being decimated by new diseases and by older diseases that have become more virulent. Nosema is a disease that contributes to these losses. Many recommendations concerning queen type in the past have focused on honey production. Extension educators need information on how queen source and colony age can be used to manage disease. Results include: bee colonies headed by queens selected for their increased hygienic behavior exhibited reduced nosema spore loads. This effect lasted during the early spring and was not detected at a later date. Older, over-wintered, hives exhibited higher spore loads than newly made colonies.