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Honey Bee Viruses and Varroa jacobsoni
by F.Ruzicka

   The female mite, which is a dark red-brown, lays up eggs in a brood cell, preferring that of a drone, just before it is capped. The nymphal stages of the mite feed on the haemolymph of the immature bee. The attached mites are mature females. Male mites, which are smaller than the female, die shortly after mating within the sealed brood cells.The females continue to feed on the haemolymph of adult bees.
  Varroa jacobsoni could act as a vector for certain pathogens that commonly occur as inappearent infections but are very virulent when injected in the haemolymph (Bailey,1981).
The acute bee-paralysis virus and the deformed wing virus( Egypt virus) are an example.
   Therefore it is of interest to detect these viruses in honey bees.
The acute paralysis virus (APV) was discovered by Bailey, 1963. The virus is an isometric RNA - virus with a diameter of 30 nm. It is transmissible by Varroa jacobsoni.
Usally, it appears to be contained within tissues that are not immediately essential to the live of the bee. It occurs in the pollen loads of foraging bees and in their thoracic salivary glands.
  The Egypt bee virus was isolated from adult bees in Egypt (Bailey,1979).
    It is an isometric RNA - virus with 30 nm in diameter. It seems to be the cause for deformed wings  that Varroa infected bees sometimes have. Therefore it was called deformed wing virus (DWV).
     It is necessary to use an immunological test, especially an ELISA to distinguish between these two viruses.


F.Ruzicka: Eine rasche Nachweismethode des Akuten Paralysevirus der Honigbiene. Forschungsberichte des BMLF, 11, 1995
F.Ruzicka: Die Entwicklung eines ELISA für den quantitativen Nachweis des Akuten Bienenparalysevirus. Bienenvater, 1, 5 - 8, 1996