Original Article

Apidologie

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 192-199

Evaluation of colony losses in Israel in relation to the incidence of pathogens and pests

  • Victoria SorokerAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center Email author 
  • , Amots HetzroniAffiliated withDepartment of Sensing, Information and Mechanization Engineering, Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Center
  • , Boris YakobsonAffiliated withThe Kimron Veterinary Institute
  • , Dan DavidAffiliated withThe Kimron Veterinary Institute
  • , Alina DavidAffiliated withThe Kimron Veterinary Institute
  • , Hilary VoetAffiliated withFaculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment , The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • , Yossi SlabezkiAffiliated withExtension Service Ministry of Agriculture
  • , Haim EfratAffiliated withExtension Service Ministry of Agriculture
  • , Shlomit LevskiAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center
    • , Yossi KamerAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center
    • , Etta KlinbergAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center
    • , Naama ZioniAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center
    • , Shani InbarAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center
    • , Nor ChejanovskyAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center

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Abstract

To evaluate symptoms, extent, and possible causes of colony decline and losses in Israel, we carried out (1) a survey of honeybee colony losses and potential causes via mail and phone; (2) systematic sampling of healthy and problematic beehives after requeening in the winter; (3) detection of Varroa and pathogens including, viruses and Nosema ceranae, by microbiological means and sensitive RT-PCR. From 58 beekeepers (46 000 colonies) interviewed, 40% complained of extensive colony loses during 2008. Examination and sampling for pests and pathogens of 113 hives in the winter of 2009 showed 35% of hives with Nosema and 21% with V. destructor. The most frequent viruses detected were Black Queen Cell Virus, Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, and Deformed Wing Virus. A significant negative correlation was found between worker population in the hive and the presence of viral and Nosema infections.

Keywords

Apis mellifera Bee viruses Varroa Nosema