Effect of genotype and environment on parasite and pathogen levels in one apiary - a case study

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Journal of Apicultural Research Vol. 53 (2) pp. 230-232
DOI 10.3896/IBRA.
Date May 2014
Article Title

Effect of genotype and environment on parasite and pathogen levels in one apiary - a case study


Roy M Francis, Esmaeil Amiri, Marina D Meixner, Per Kryger, Anna Gajda, Sreten Andonov, Aleksandar Uzunov, Grazyna Topolska, Leonidas Charistos, Cecilia Costa, Stefan Berg, Malgorzata Bienkowska, Maria Bouga, Ralph Büchler, Winfried Dyrba, Fani Hatjina, Evgeniya Ivanova, Nikola Kezic, Seppo Korpela, Yves Le Conte, Beata Panasiuk, Hermann Pechhacker, George Tsoktouridis and Jerzy Wilde


As part of the COLOSS GEI experiment, one apiary in Chalkidi, Greece was continuously monitored for various pests and pathogens including V. destructor mites, Nosema spp. spores, and quantitative titers of five viruses from late summer 2009 until March 2012. The apiary was established with 39 colonies which included ten A. m. carnica (CarV) colonies from Germany, ten A. m. ligustica (LigI) colonies from Italy, ten A. m. macedonica (MacB) colonies from Bulgaria and nine local A. m. macedonica (MacG) colonies from Greece. At the end of the monitoring period, eight colonies survived: six local MacG, one MacB and one LigI. The local MacG colonies consistently showed comparatively lower V. destructor infestation levels and, consequently, also low DWV titres. In contrast, LigI colonies had the highest Nosema spp. and BQCV titres. It is, however, difficult to attribute the low survival rate of non-local colonies to any single factor. Since all colonies were located in close proximity in a single apiary, and the local bees were in better health than non-local bees, we assume that the local bees were better adapted to the local environmental conditions, and handled environmental stressors better to avoid disease outbreak.


COLOSS, Genotype-Environment Interactions Experiment, Apis mellifera L., honey bee, Varroa destructor,Nosema spp., quantitative virus analysis, survival

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