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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Role of Viruses in Bee Parasitic Mite Syndrome

Authors
item Hung, Akey
item Shimanuki, Hachiro
item Knox, David

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 23, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Bee parasitic mite syndrome (BPMS)is the term proposed for the condition that results in high mortality in U. S. honey bee colonies infested by parasitic mites. The possible causes of BPMS have not been identified. Honey bee colony losses due to the infestation of the parasitic mite, Varroa jacobsoni in Europe has been associated with acute paralysis virus (APV) and other honey bee viruses. With the spread of Varroa to the U. S. and the report of APV and Kashmir bee virus (KBV) in this country, it is possible that APV and KBV may be involved in BPMS. However, our study showed that the majority (62%) of dead adult bees collected from two colonies with BPMS did not contain virus. Therefore, viral infection is not the sole contributing factor in BPMS. This information is important in understanding the etiology of honey bee diseases and will help scientists to design strategies for the U. S. beekeepers to control honey bee diseases.

Technical Abstract: A total of 191 dead adult bees collected from two colonies with bee parasitic mite syndrome (BPMS) were tested for the presence of acute paralysis virus (APV) and Kashmir bee virus (KBV) in immunodiffusion tests. About (62%) of the dead bees tested negative for APV and KBV. Nine of the APV/KBV negative samples were also negative against antisera of nine other bee viruses. No virus particles were found when another 12 negative samples were further examined under the electron microscopy. Therefore, not all dead adult bees in BPMS colony died of viral infections.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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