Testing the efficacy of three new alternative treatments for Nosema disease of honey bees in Tennessee

2009 Annual Report for GS09-086

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2009: $9,963.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Grant Recipient: Univ. Tennessee
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. John Skinner
Univ. Tennessee

Testing the efficacy of three new alternative treatments for Nosema disease of honey bees in Tennessee


This project began too late in the year to begin experimentation in the fall. Honey bees undergo a period of inactivity in the winter. So some things necessary for experimentation, like taking brood to obtain newly emerged bees, could not be performed until weather warms. Instead I spent time perfecting experimental techniques I’ll be using.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The objective for this phase was to develop a familiarity with techniques to be used in the experiment and to develop relationships with other researchers working on other aspects of Nosema disease in honey bees.


Methods for fixing, dehydrating, embedding, and staining thin sections of honey bee gut tissue have been worked out. Although there are standard protocols for making and staining thin sections of tissues, all tissue is different and experimentation is required to achieve desired results.

Methods for caging, feeding, anesthetizing and inoculating honey bees have been devised. Techniques for removing spores from infected bees and adjusting the spore concentration have been worked out.

An incubator was built from a discarded stand-up freezer. Regulation of the temperature and humidity is necessary and purchasing a pre-built incubator was cost prohibitive.

I met with Leellen Solter of the University of Illinois and Tom Webster of Kentucky State University to discuss experimental technique and design.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

I think these preparations will make experimentation smooth, with few problems.


Dr. John Skinner

2431 Joe Johnson Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
Office Phone: 8659740209
Paul Rhoades

Graduate student
University of Tennessee
2431 Joe Johnson Drive
room 205
Knoxville, TN 37996
Office Phone: 8657124202