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Environ Microbiol Rep. 2009 Apr;1(2):110-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2009.00014.x. Epub 2009 Feb 16.

Honeybee colony collapse due to Nosema ceranae in professional apiaries.

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Bee Pathology Laboratory and Hive Products Laboratory, Centro Apícola Regional, JCCM, 19180 Marchamalo, Spain. Animal Medicine and Surgery Department and Animal Health Department, Veterinary School, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain. Analitical Chemistry Department, Sciences School, Universidad de Valladolid, 47005 Valladolid, Spain.


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.

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