Thanks, Finski! I'll give that a shot.
The Nosema issue is an interesting one for me since I am moving into the camp of, "treat only when there is a problem". So, to that end, I did not feed fumagilin last fall. When we got a sunny day in February and all my bees took a cleansing flight, this hive looked like someone had just dumped brown goo all over it.
I was having another hive tested because I couldn't recognize their symptoms, so why send in just one sample? So, I sent in three other samples, one of which was this 'brown goo' hive. The dysentery was indeed nosema-based. The hives I was originally concerned about (next to the 'goo' hive) also tested positive for nosema, but to a much smaller degree, and the other two hives didn't have nosema at all.
So, I'm learning.
Try to get better bees which resist nosema. Difficult to get such but try to use northern queen breeders.
I agree. These bees are from the new nucs I ordered last year that were such a disaster. They didn't come healthy and are continueing to be problematic. The queens I ordered last year fall into the same category, but for a different batch of reasons I won't get into here.
This year I did not order any new bees for my apiary. I'm going to try to get what I have healthier. At first, I thought I would just use my own queens, but if the genetics are flawed, then I'm thinking I should consider ordering new queens, from resistant stock, and work on getting those genetics spread through my apiary.
Sound like a good plan? Have any suggestions for a queen breeder? I was leaning towards Minnisota Hygienics because it seems folks have been happy with those, but I would love further input.