Diseases are known to be one of the major contributors to colony losses. Within a Europe-wide experiment on genotype - environment interactions, an initial 621 colonies were set up and maintained from 2009 to 2012. The colonies were monitored to investigate the occurrence and levels of key pathogens. These included the mite Varroa destructor (mites per 10 g bees), Nosema spp. (spore loads and species determination), and viruses (presence/absence of acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and deformed wing virus (DWV)). Data from 2010 to the spring of 2011 are analysed in relation to the parameters: genotype, environment, and origin (local vs. non-local) of the colonies in the experiment. The relative importance of different pathogens as indicators of colony death within the experiment is compared. In addition, pathogen occurrence rates across the geographic locations are described.
Journal of Apicultural Research and Bee World, 2014, Vol 53, Issue 2, p. 215-229