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Forskningsartikel2022Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Virus Prevalence in Egg Samples Collected from Naturally Selected and Traditionally Managed Honey Bee Colonies across Europe

Bouuaert, David Claeys; De Smet, Lina; Brunain, Marleen; Dahle, Bjorn; Blacquiere, Tjeerd; Dalmon, Anne; Dezmirean, Daniel; Elen, Dylan; Filipi, Janja; Giurgiu, Alexandru; Gregorc, Ales; Kefuss, John; Locke, Barbara; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Oddie, Melissa; Panziera, Delphine; Parejo, Melanie; Pinto, Maria Alice; de Graaf, Dirk C.


Monitoring virus infections can be an important selection tool in honey bee breeding. A recent study pointed towards an association between the virus-free status of eggs and an increased virus resistance to deformed wing virus (DWV) at the colony level. In this study, eggs from both naturally surviving and traditionally managed colonies from across Europe were screened for the prevalence of different viruses. Screenings were performed using the phenotyping protocol of the 'suppressed in ovo virus infection' trait but with qPCR instead of end-point PCR and a primer set that covers all DWV genotypes. Of the 213 screened samples, 109 were infected with DWV, 54 were infected with black queen cell virus (BQCV), 3 were infected with the sacbrood virus, and 2 were infected with the acute bee paralyses virus. It was demonstrated that incidences of the vertical transmission of DWV were more frequent in naturally surviving than in traditionally managed colonies, although the virus loads in the eggs remained the same. When comparing virus infections with queen age, older queens showed significantly lower infection loads of DWV in both traditionally managed and naturally surviving colonies, as well as reduced DWV infection frequencies in traditionally managed colonies. We determined that the detection frequencies of DWV and BQCV in honey bee eggs were lower in samples obtained in the spring than in those collected in the summer, indicating that vertical transmission may be lower in spring. Together, these patterns in vertical transmission show that honey bee queens have the potential to reduce the degree of vertical transmission over time.


honey bee; suppressed in ovo virus infection; vertical transmission; virus resistance

Publicerad i

2022, Volym: 14, nummer: 11, artikelnummer: 2442
Utgivare: MDPI