My hive smells bad. What are those nasty brown streaks? : BeeBlog

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My hive smells bad. What are those nasty brown streaks?

by Ruhl Bee on 04/28/13

If your hive smells bad and has brown streaks on the front, the colony is probably is probably suffering from a disease called  Nosema apis.  This digestive tract disease is typically associated with bad weather in spring when bees are unable to fly. It can often be  managed with antibiotic treatments such as Fumagilin.  Alternative non-antibiotic products are available, but we have less data on their effectiveness.  Examples are Nozevit, Bee Cleanse, and Honey B Healthy. 

Comments (1)

1. Daniel said on 5/19/13 - 08:07AM
How much is enough to worry about? Since it is my first year with a hive, it is tough to know if it smells "bad". It smells pretty much like what we think it should smell like, kind of rich and earthy: not unpleasant at all. I've seen a few nasty brown streaks (two or three at a time usually in the course of a week) on the side of the hive. Occassionally, we see bees coming out of the hive, walking away, looking perhaps ill, languishing on the ground in front of the hive and dying. Time to treat or should we consider other causes (like tracheal mites?) thanks!


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