Abuzz for new microscope

Honeybees will be put under the microscope to give diseases like nosema and American foulbrood the buzz-off in the Macedon Ranges.
Woodend Bee-Friendly Society has acquired a new compound microscope that will be key in early disease detection to minimise impacts to local hives and agricultural ventures.
WBFS bio-security officer Paul Green said nosema had the potential to devastate local honeybee populations and pollination critical for many agricultural enterprises.
“It’s one of the most prevalent, costly and devastating of all the honeybee diseases but it is difficult to diagnose without a microscope as it doesn’t have any distinctive signs,” Mr Green said.
“Once a disease like nosema is detected the beekeeper can take productive steps to reduce the impact to their hive.”
Purchase of the microscope was made possible through a $1500 Small Community Grant from Macedon Ranges Shire Council.
“This really shows the group’s commitment to honeybee biosecurity,” the mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson said.
WBFS is an active group with about 150 registered members from across the district. The group has qualified scientists on board with talent and experience across various fields.

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