Acta Vet. Brno 2012, 81: 15-19

Viral infections in queen bees (Apis mellifera carnica) from rearing apiaries

Aleš Gregorc1,2, Tamás Bakonyi3

1Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Slovenia
3Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, Budapest, Hungary

Viral infection could have an impact on the success of queen rearing and a potential effect on reduced queen quality. Newly mated honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) queens were collected from mating nuclei in queen rearing operations in Slovenia. Altogether, 81 queens were sampled from 27 rearing apiaries in 2006 and 72 queens from 24 apiaries in 2008. Queens were analysed for the presence of four viruses: acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), sacbrood virus (SBV) and deformed wing virus (DWV) by using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In 2006, 12%, 9% and 1% prevalence was found for ABPV, DWV and SBV, respectively; BQCV was not detected. Two years later, DWV, BQCV, SBV and ABPV were detected in 58%, 24%, 11% and 10% bee queens, respectively. In 2006, fourteen out of twenty-seven apaiaries were virus free, whereas in 2008 only three out of twenty-four apiaries were virus free. This is the first evidence of virus infection occurring in newly mated queens from mating nuclei in rearing apiaries. The possible impacts of queen rearing technology and epidemiological influences on virus infection are discussed in this study.


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