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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374604

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees Against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: Distribution of recently identified bee-infecting viruses in managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in the USA

item RAY, ALLYSON - Pennsylvania State University
item Lopez, Dawn
item ITURRALDE MARTINEZ, FRANCISCO - Pennsylvania State University
item GALBRAITH, DAVID - Pennsylvania State University
item ROSE, ROBYN - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item VANENGELSDORP, DENNIS - University Of Maryland
item ROSA, CRISTINA - Pennsylvania State University
item Evans, Jay
item GROZINGER, CHRISTINA - Pennsylvania State University

Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2020
Publication Date: 4/8/2020
Citation: Ray, A.M., Lopez, D.L., Iturralde Martinez, F.J., Galbraith, D.A., Rose, R., Vanengelsdorp, D., Rosa, C., Evans, J.D., Grozinger, C.M. 2020. Distribution of recently identified bee-infecting viruses in managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in the USA. Apidologie.

Interpretive Summary: Honey bee viruses are widespread and impact bee health. Recently, several new viruses were identified in a large-scale screening of honey bees. Before determining the impacts of these viruses on bee health it is important to determine their presence in the US. In this study of eight newly described viruses, two were widespread in honey bees, others showed moderate presence and one was not detected. The widespread viruses could be included in longterm surveys to determine if they have an impact on honey bee health. This study shows the importance of longterm sample repositories for maintaining the health of honey bees.

Technical Abstract: Viral infections are commonly associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony mortality. Using metagenomics, we previously identified 8 viruses from populations of honey bees and 11 other bee species around the world. These viruses had not been previously been described as bee-infecting viruses, and belong to viral families that are not commonly described in bees. To provide a fine-scale characterization of these viruses in the USA, we screened bees from the 2015 USDA National Honey Bee Disease Survey. Two viruses are widespread, and thus likely require further characterization, while four may represent emerging or under surveyed infections. We also compare different approaches for screening samples for viral infections. This study demonstrates the importance of creating and maintaining large-scale collections for the broader research community.