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Members of the Nosema genus are microsporidians, which are now classified as a fungus. Nosema species (spp.) are obligate, intracellular parasites. This means that they require a host (in this case a honey bee) to complete their lifecycle. There are two species from the genus that infect our honey bees (Apis mellifera) – Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Nosema apis is a well studied species that has been known to infect honey bees for over 100 years. A thorough review is given by Fries . Nosema ceranae is a closely related species and was first found in Apis cerana, the Asian honey bee in 1996  and then in the European honey bee in 2006 [3-4].
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
March 31, 2014