November Bee Lab Varroa and Nosema Results

Although the official start of winter does not begin for a few weeks, bitter cold air has spread across much of the northern region. The Minnesota and Oregon Tech Teams finished up their sampling at the end of October, so the honey bee samples received this month were all from the California team (where they are experiencing 60-70°F weather).

We examined 220 California samples for Varroa and 236 for Nosema. The average value for Varroa was 0.71 mites per 100 bees, and the average value for Nosema was 0.30 millions of spores per bee. Remarkably, these averages are almost exactly the same as the averages for California last month. However, our current disease levels are much lower than they were last year in November 2013.

Graph 1: A comparison of Varroa averages in November 2013 and 2014.

Graph 1: A comparison of Varroa averages in November 2013 and 2014.

Graph 2: A comparison of Nosema averages in November 2013 and 2014.

Graph 2: A comparison of Nosema averages in November 2013 and 2014.

Written By: Rachel Bozarth

Rachel Bozarth has written 18 post in this blog.

I work for the University of Maryland as a research assistant analyzing honey bee alcohol samples from the Bee Informed Partnership and the APHIS National Honey bee Survey. I specialize in Nosema spore counts, but also enjoy field work in the USDA BRL bee yards. I have my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Wesley College and I wish to continue my education in Entomology and beekeeping. Before coming to BIP, I worked on a variety of projects at UMD including scouting corn fields for brown marmorated stink bug, testing the effectiveness of SHB traps and assisting with horticulture research at the UMD Wye Research Center. I love the learning environment my job provides and in the future I hope to start a bee yard of my own.

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