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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PESTS, PARASITES, DISEASES AND STRESS OF MANAGED HONEY BEES USED IN HONEY PRODUCTION AND POLLINATION

Location: Honey Bee Research

Title: Detect Nosema parasite in time

Author
item Aronstein, Katherine

Submitted to: Bee Culture
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: January 20, 2010
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Scientists are looking at the root cause of the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) syndrome, searching for new diseases, harmful chemicals or a combination of these factors which could inflict stress on bee colonies pushing them over the edge for recovery. Among multiple suspects identified so far, bee viruses and a microscopic Nosema parasite have attracted the most attention in the press. Here, we describe development of a rapid and simple identification tool for detection of N. ceranae. The final product, a dipstick assay for the detection of Nosema spores in bee samples, will be developed in collaboration with private biotechnology companies. This new test will help beekeepers make educated decisions about disease management. Most importantly, this new tool will (1) encourage reduced use of antibiotics since it will discourage unnecessary treatments, (2) give regulators new decision-making tools in regard to inter-state and international bee movement, and (3) give producers of queens and package bees a means to detect and monitor Nosema levels in their production colonies.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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