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Author Topic: What does bee poo smell like  (Read 193 times)

Offline charentejohn

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What does bee poo smell like
« on: January 13, 2021, 11:13:34 am »
First day for 14 days bees have made it outside and some runny brown poo near the entrance, just a little but smells a bit like fish, to me anyway.  Bees coming and going, a couple of patches of this on the hive floor tubes but otherwise nothing.  Bees coming and going ok ,just checking nothing sinister.

Othe hive is fine and they are removing the winter dead as this is the first opportinity.  Here in central france, first year colonies, and my first year seeing this hence my question.
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: What does bee poo smell like
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2021, 11:41:28 am »
I will not say what the problem is but I did find this. Hope it helps.

"Honey Bee Suite
How to clean up from Nosema apis

Cleaning up after a Nosema apis outbreak is no easy chore. Your best course of action is to prevent an infection in the first place. My second piece of advice is to make sure it actually is Nosema apis that you are trying to clean up. It is easy to confuse simple honey bee dysentery with Nosema apis, so you will want a positive identification before you start. Identification requires a microscope and some training, or you can ship your sample to a lab.

Both Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are transmitted by resistant spores that can survive long periods. The disease is transmitted when honey bees ingest the spores. This can happen when bees are cleaning the combs or other parts of the hive.

Since Nosema apis usually causes dysentery-like symptoms such as distended abdomens and defecation in the hive, it can be confused with normal wintertime honey bee dysentery which also causes distended abdomens and defecation in the hive. But with Nosema apis the spores pass through the digestive tract along with the feces. When other bees try to clean up the mess, they become infected as well.

Hive bodies, bottom boards, inner covers or any other wooden parts of the hive can be fumigated with various chemicals?such as glacial acetic acid?or they can be scorched with a blowtorch. It is best to first scrape all the wooden surfaces to get the thick stuff off, then scorch your woodenware and your hive tools with the torch.

A number of different chemicals can be used to fumigate combs, but none are very practical for the hobby beekeeper. They can also be irradiated or treated with ozone?also impractical and expensive if you have just a few hives. The simplest way to disinfect is with heat, but that isn?t easy either. Randy Oliver pieced together the following data that he found in a variety of research papers. The table shows time and temperature needed to disinfect Nosema-infected combs with heat.
Degrees F   Degrees C   Time
140   60   15 minutes
120   49   24 hours
104   40   5 days
Beeswax will melt at about 145?F (63?C), so if you decided to use high heat, you need a way to monitor and control it. As with your woodenware, I recommend that you first scrape the frames to get off as much residue as possible before you treat with heat.

All in all, prevention is far easier than trying to clean up. The best defense against Nosema or any other bee disease is to maintain populous healthy hives.

. Maintain large colonies going into winter. Combine small colonies with larger ones as long as they are all healthy.
. Provide good ventilation so hives stay dry inside.
. Ensure that colonies have adequate supplies of both honey and pollen going into winter.
. Keep hives in a sunny winter location to encourage cleansing flights.
. Treat for Varroa mites. Bees weakened by mites are more susceptible to a variety of diseases.
. Continually replace old combs with new ones to prevent disease build-up.

If you believe your bees have Nosema or you want to prevent an infection from spreading, you can treat your colonies with fumagillin according to the package directions. Fumagillin is an antimicrobial agent isolated from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The fungus is found naturally in soil and decaying organic matter. Fumagillin is sold under the brand name Fumidil-B or Fumagilin-B and is fed to honey bees in syrup. Fumagillin prevents the Nosema spores from reproducing in the honey bee gut, but it is unable to kill the spores.

For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline charentejohn

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Re: What does bee poo smell like
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 04:14:47 pm »
Thanks, I was just interested in why it smelled like that.  If I had to describe it it was like fish cat food, I can't imagine many people smell the landing board but I just removed the reducer to examine it.
I had found a site that showed what I see, good description but no smell-o-vision https://primebees.com/2017/05/14/bee-poo-a-discovery/
Photo attached (I hope) of the exit, I think they nearly made it out, looks just like the above  :smile:  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
You must be the change you want to see in the world - Mahatma Gandhi