Surveillance of therapeutic control and prevalence of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae in the Saskatchewan beekeeping industry

The beekeeping industry in Canada has endured often unsustainable high colony losses during the past two decades which, if it continues, could have negative consequences for the entire Canadian agriculture industry. Increasing evidence indicates that infectious diseases, including Nosemosis, play a significant role in high colony mortality. In spite of the significant negative impact of Nosema infection on honey bee health and production, there is only one antibiotic, Fumagilin-B, available for control of Nosemosis as well as several commercial probiotics and feed supplements claimed to increase overall health and allegedly to prevent diseases such as Nosemosis.
Nosemosis in western honey bees (Apis mellifera) is caused by two microsporidian species (recently reclassified as fungi), N. apis and N. ceranae. The co-infection by both species is common in North America and Europe and it seems that the spread and prevalence of N. ceranae is increasing at the population level. At the same time, limited studies demonstrated that N. ceranae does not seem to have a competitive advantage over N. apis in individual bees co-infected with known amounts of spores of both Nosema species under laboratory conditions.

Faculty Supervisor:

Elemir Simko


Sarah Biganski


Saskatchewan Beekeeper Development Commission


Animal science




University of Saskatchewan


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