Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), while around for many years, has become a significant problem for honey bees following the rise of varroa mites which facilitate the transferrral of the more virulent form of this pathogen.
Several research projects have been and are being conducted to learn more about the variants of DWV and differences in infection between colonies of both feral and managed treated/untreated colonies.
For example, Ron Hoskin’s bees, which have been selected for varroa resistance and untreated for many years, have been studied by one research group and found to show ‘superinfection exclusion’ of DWV, that is they have a high presence of a more innocuous variant of the virus which prevents the more virulent variant taking hold.
Further studies are underway and one virologist researcher recently contacted us asking for volunteers to provide him with 20-30 honey bee samples. He is particularly interested in sampling bees from the managed untreated hives of natural beekeepers. and also in taking samples from nearby conventionally managed treated hives to compare the variants of the virus present in each.
If you would like to help with this project, for more information and sample tubes please contact: Dr Andrew Shaw at the University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research Andrew.Shaw@glasgow.ac.uk