European Union Reference Laboratory for honeybee health: Impact of Varroa To Be Determined

April 9, 2014

Editor’s Note: A major European Union study of honeybee health has collected detailed data on the impact of Varroa Destructor on EU bees.  Processing and analysis of the dataset is described by the Europan Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) as a “massive effort.” The EU report makes clear that an assessment of “parasitic pressures” on bees from the data is neccessary before causality of bee health decline can be determined.

The complete Epilobee report, “A pan-European epidemiological study on honeybee colony losses: 2012-2013” is attached here. Below is an excerpt from p. 22.

Not surprisingly, cases of varroosis were observed in nearly all the member states. Indeed, varroa mites are present in all honeybee colonies in the EU and worldwide, with some rare exceptions. The wide variation in the prevalence between member states (from the min 0% to the max 87.4%) may come from a difference in the interpretation of the case definition although symptoms were detailed in the surveillance protocol.

The varroosis results were disconnected from the assessment of the parasitic pressure. The presence of  mites was systematically recorded in each colony at the visit performed in autumn 2012. The sampling, analysis and result recording in the database caused a lot of work and questions to all the people working from the field to the laboratories. The EU Reference Laboratory acknowledges this massive effort. Future statistical analysis on this particular epidemiological risk factor will link the amount of mites present in the colonies in autumn to their subsequent survival to the winter.

Cases of nosemosis were reported in 11 member states, all located in Northern Europe. Data on nosemosis will be further statistically explored in the future in order to better know the risk posed to honeybee colonies by these pathogens.

Leave a Comment

(not required for anonymous comments)

(optional; will not be published)

Please Answer: *


Submit a Post

Upload Files