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Deformed wing virus and Varroa populations. How do they relate?


Most Portuguese beekeepers only suspect their colonies are too infested with Varroa after spotting crippled/deformed‑wing workers during routine colonyvinspections. Considering the role deformed wing virus (DWV) and Varroa infestation levels play in honey bee colony survival, we wondered (i) how closely the perceptible degree of deformed‑wing workers could be associated with Varroa infestation levels, daily mortality rates and estimated mite populations, and (ii) if DWV lab diagnosis could improve upon the information provided by field observations of deformed‑wing workers. We monitored levels of Varroa infestation in brood and adult bees, calculated Varroa mortality rates, and estimated Varroa population sizes. The extent of deformed‑wing workers, visible on central/peripherical brood frames, was assessed (using a 4‑level categorical key), just prior to worker sampling for DWV lab diagnosis (direct ELISA).Levels of deformed‑wing workers assessed at colony inspections were found to be positively (P<0.01) related with Varroa infestation levels (capped brood and adult bees) and Varroa populations. However, an association with Varroa mortality rates was found unlikely (P>0.05). Laboratorial DWV results were not associated (P>0.05) with the previously mentioned Varroa population dynamics variables, nor with results from DWV field assessments. Colonies where DWV was lab‑diagnosed hosted smaller (925 292, P<0.05) Varroa populations and suffered from lower Varroa densities (11.5 4.0% in capped brood and 3.1 1.2% on adult bees) than colonies where lab tests failed to identify DWV (respectively 2540 249, 25.4 2.7% and 8.2 1.1%)

Palavras Chave

Virus das asas deformadas; Varroa; Abelhas


Deformed wing virus; DWV; Varroa; Honey bees

Tipo de Apresentação
Comunicação oral
Tipo de Revisão
Âmbito Geográfico
Área de Trabalho

Murilhas, A (2007). Deformed wing virus and Varroa populations. How do they relate?. 40th International Apicultural Congress. Apimondia. Apimondia. Melbourne (Australia): 138-139