Nosema is both the name of a condition and the organism which causes it. In the U.S. we have two species, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Both species are a unicellular fungus which resides in the gut of the bee
The parasite has a polar tube that penetrates cells of the bee
Injects the necessary elements for reproduction into the cell.
Inside the cell of the bee’s gut, Nosema reproduces by forming spores
Spores are passed within the bee’s waste
Nosema Apis is most problematic in the winter and spring
Bees will begin to expel waste in the hive and on the outside
Brown spotting on the outside of the hive will appear
Nosema ceranae can affect a hive at any time of the year
Can cause rapid colony decline
No symptoms will be present
Both forms of Nosema are treatable with Fumagilin-B. Fumagilin-B is an antibiotic which restricts the “firing” of the polar tube. If the parasite is unable to attach to the cells of the bee’s gut it cannot reproduce.
Researchers now recommend treating with Fumagilin-B Spring and Fall.