Effects of Nosema apis Zander on inbred New Zealand honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica L)L.A. Malone and H.A. Giacon
Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Ltd, Mt Albert Research Centre, Private Bag 92 169, Auckland, New Zealand
Abstract - Inbred bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) from seven different colonies were dosed individually with spores of Nosema apis and kept in cages. Longevity and spores carried at the time of death were recorded for each bee. The experiment was repeated on three different dates. Control bee longevity varied with experiment date, although the pattern of this response varied from colony to colony. Dosing significantly reduced the lifespans of bees in all but three colonies. Results suggest that bees with superior ability to survive in cages may also withstand N apis infection better. Each cage of dosed bees produced a number of dead bees without detectable spore loads. Survival data comparisons suggest that dosing newly-emerged bees with N apis may result in a relatively fast death for some bees and a slower death for the majority. Spore loads were very variable with no clear relationship to survival time.
Key words: honey bee / nosema disease / inbred colonies / longevity / seasonal effect