September Bee Lab Varroa and Nosema Results

Nosema and Varroa GraphThe beekeeping season keeps many busy in the spring through the fall and the Maryland lab is no exception. Traditionally, September is our busiest month for sample processing as most of the tech teams are sending in the last round of samples from the field. We also are spending more time reviewing disease load trends (weekly and monthly and then seasonally) from our different tech teams.  Part of that is a summary sample report we review at each weekly lab meeting and from there, we pass information back to our teams in a more encapsulated form.

For the month of September (9/4-10/1/14), numerous samples were processed in the Maryland Bee lab. The lab examined 848 varroa and 787 nosema samples overall.


The nosema spore load averages for California, Minnesota, and Oregon were relatively close at, 0.2, 0.215, and 0.026 million spores/bee, respectively.  However, the varroa per 100 bee average did not display similarity between teams.  Minnesota’s mite average was much higher at 9.30 varroa per 100 bee.  This higher value may be due to late honey supers coming off and later treatments. California and Oregon were both under 2.0 mites/100 bees.



We’ll be sure to keep you posted on our monthly progress as we think showing these regional trends may be helpful and informative.


Written By: Heather Eversole

Heather Eversole has written 22 post in this blog.

As a Faculty Research Assistant, I am a part of the Bee Diagnostic team located at the University of Maryland, College Park. I process samples for the Bee Informed Partnership and APHIS National Honey Bee Survey, primarily seeking out the parasitic mite, Varroa. I wear many hats including generating reports, managing lab functions as well as assisting undergraduates with honey bee related projects. Prior to my honey bee research interests I took part in submerged aquatic vegetation research projects located on the Chesapeake Bay as well as field work involving mangroves in Belize and Florida. You might say I was “stung” by honey bees and now I am hooked. I have my bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Maryland and always eager to expand my entomology knowledge.