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Fumidil for Nosema

This page is credited in full to Dave Cushman who created it. His voice is expressed in black colour text and any additions or comments in blue belong to myself. Credit: Dave Cushman’s website.



Fumidil ‘B’

For the prevention of Nosema disease in honey bees.

Manufactured By:- Abbott
Distributed & Marketed By:- CEVA Ltd., 3 Rhodes Way, Watford, Herts. (to whom all enquiries should be addressed.)
Available from the UK appliance trade.
Data Sheet Ref’s:- PL 3974/4013, 09250/46/3, 09-250/79
Date of Issue of Data:- Unknown (thought to be 1979).

I neither endorse nor condemn this product. The information as published here is a matter of public record. The information is placed here for the education of those that wish to read it.
BEFORE you obtain or use the material concerned please ascertain the legality of doing so in your location as the product may or may not be approved in your geographic State or Country.

Fumidil B is Abbott’s name for bicyclohexyl-ammonium fumagillin:- a soluble salt of an antibiotic produced by fermentation of Aspergillus fumigatus. This antibiotic has been found to possess a specific activity against the protozoon Nosema Apis, the cause of Nosema disease in honey bees.[1] The antibiotic prevents the reproductive stages of the parasites from attacking the epithelial cells of the digestive stomach of the bee.

The 3 colony pack shown at right contains a polythene tub with a ‘lever off’ lid. The fine, but granular powder contained in the tub has a cream colouration.
Fumidil ‘B’ Pack

Fumidil B has no effect on the spores or the resting stage of Nosema Apis, and must therefore be made available in the food of the bees for three to four weeks to free the colony population of infection. To prevent reinfection from spores carried by the combs the latter should be replaced by clean combs early in the spring and then (the old combs) should be decontaminated by exposure to the vapour of commercial formalin (or glacial acetic acid if they contain stores of honey or pollen) before they are used again.[2]

Fumidil B is effective when fed in syrup in the autumn. [3] It is best used then as a preliminary to the transfer of the bees on to clean combs in the spring or as a precautionary measure in the autumn following the transfer.[4]

[1] Katznelson, H., and Jamieson, C.A. (1952) Control of Nosema Disease in Honey Bees with Fumagillin, Science, 115: 70.

[2] Bailey, L. (1954), The Control of Nosema Disease, Bee World 35: 111.

[3] Bailey, L. (1953), The Treatment of Nosema with Fumagillin, Bee World 34: 136.

[4] Bailey, L. (1963), Infectious Diseases of the Honey Bee, p.110 (Land Books, London).

Directions for use
Based on results obtained at the Rothamstead Experimental Station.

Each colony to be treated should receive approximately 166 mg of fumagillin activity (one third of the contents of a 0.5 gm vial), administered in a syrup containing 14 lb of sugar in 7 pints of water.

Precise measurement is not essential since a “rough third” of the 0.5 gm vial (approx. a desert spoonful) is more than adequate for the treatment of the average colony.

It is easier to dissolve sugar in warm water, however it is important that Fumidil B is NOT subjected to a temperature higher than 49 deg C (120 deg F) during any stage of the mixing operation.

1. Heat 7 pints of water per colony to 38 deg C (100 deg F) DO NOT EXCEED 49 deg C (120 deg F).

2. Apportion one third of the 0.5 gm vial for each colony to be treated and dissolve in the heated water.

3. While the water is still hot add 14 lbs of sugar per colony and stir to make a clear syrup. (Take note of the final volume to make step 4 easier.)

4. Feed this syrup to the bees in the usual way.


The large pack contains 9.5 gm of fumagillin activity which makes sufficient syrup to treat 54 colonies. The contents of this pack should be dissolved in 47.5 gallons of water to which 6.75 cwt. of sugar should be added as described above.
How Supplied

Fumidil B List No. 8692 (in a suitable buffered formula) is supplied in two pack sizes:

Small pack: representing 0.5 gm of fumagillin activity (25 gm of soluble powder). Sufficient for the treatment of 3 colonies.

Large pack: representing 9.5 gm of fumagillin activity, sufficient for the treatment of 54 colonies.

This material keeps being discussed as being dropped from being made. Still around so far.Not easy to mix.


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