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Honey Bee Virus Transmission via Hive Products

Institute of Bee Health, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, 3097 Bern, Switzerland
Agroscope, Swiss Bee Research Center, 3097 Bern, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 96;
Received: 27 May 2020 / Revised: 8 July 2020 / Accepted: 10 July 2020 / Published: 21 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
The global trade of honey bee hive products has raised concern about pathogen transmission. However, the efficacy of hive products as virus vehicles is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the transmission capacity of hive products for Deformed wing virus genotype A (DWV-A) in a fully-crossed hoarding cage experiment and estimated the transmission risk by screening commercial products. Western honey bee workers were provided with honey, pollen and wax either contaminated with high (~2 × 109), medium (~1.7 × 108), low (~8 × 106) or zero (control) DWV-A genome copies. For 10 days, mortality was monitored. Then, virus titers were quantified in bee heads and 38 commercial products using RT-qPCR. For honey and pollen, a positive association between DWV-A concentration and mortality was observed. High concentrations always resulted in infections, medium ones in 47% of cases and low ones in 20% of cases. No significant difference was observed between the tested products. In commercial honey and pollen, 7.7 × 102–1.8 × 105 and 1.4 × 103–1.3 × 104 DWV-A copies per gram were found, respectively. The results show that DWV-A transmission via hive products is feasible. The risk of introducing novel viruses and/or strains should be considered in trade regulations by including virus analyses for health certificates of hive products View Full-Text
Keywords: honey bee; virus; DWV-A; hive products; honey; pollen; wax honey bee; virus; DWV-A; hive products; honey; pollen; wax
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schittny, D.; Yañez, O.; Neumann, P. Honey Bee Virus Transmission via Hive Products. Vet. Sci. 2020, 7, 96.

AMA Style

Schittny D, Yañez O, Neumann P. Honey Bee Virus Transmission via Hive Products. Veterinary Sciences. 2020; 7(3):96.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schittny, Dominik, Orlando Yañez, and Peter Neumann. 2020. "Honey Bee Virus Transmission via Hive Products" Veterinary Sciences 7, no. 3: 96.

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