Honeybee colony collapse is a sanitary and ecological worldwide problem. The features of this syndrome are an unexplained disappearance of adult bees, a lack of brood attention, reduced colony strength, and heavy winter mortality without any previous evident pathological disturbances. To date there has not been a consensus about its origins. This report describes the clinical features of two professional bee-keepers affecting by this syndrome. Anamnesis, clinical examination and analyses support that the depopulation in both cases was due to the infection by Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia), an emerging pathogen of Apis mellifera. No other significant pathogens or pesticides (neonicotinoids) were detected and the bees had not been foraging in corn or sunflower crops. The treatment with fumagillin avoided the loss of surviving weak colonies. This is the first case report of honeybee colony collapse due to N. ceranae in professional apiaries in field conditions reported worldwide.
Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in Nova Scotia, Canada were sampled in spring and late summer 2007 to evaluate efficacy of fumagillin dicyclohexylammonium (hereafter, fumagillin) against Nosema ceranae. Colonies treated with fumagillin in September 2006 (n = 94) had significantly lower Nosema intensity in spring 2007 than did colonies that received no treatment (n = 51), but by late summer 2007 no difference existed between groups. Molecular sequencing of 15 infected colonies identified N. ceranae in 93.3% of cases, suggesting that fumagillin is successful at temporarily reducing this recent invasive parasite in western honey bees.
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