A Study of Nosema ceranae in Honeybees in Australia

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Nosemosis is one of the most widespread adult bee diseases and causes significant economic losses to beekeepers worldwide. This disease was originally thought to be caused by a single Nosema species, Nosema apis, a microsporidian which has a range of debilitating effects on honeybee colonies and adult bees. In 1994, a microsporidian similar to N. apis was described in Asian honey bees from China. This parasite, called Nosema ceranae, was subsequently detected in European honeybees (Apis mellifera) in Taiwan. More recently it has been found in South America, USA, Asia and much of Europe.
The discovery of this new and apparently severe pathogen in bees prompted the need to determine the impact and the prevalence of N. ceranae in Australia. A survey of apiaries in eastern Australia indicated that N. ceranae was widespread and infected bees in every apiary under surveillance. Although N. ceranae does not appear to be as lethal as reported elsewhere it is another pathogen that the beekeeping industry needs to contend with.

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