Re: Can DWV Spread Without Direct Contact with Varroa?
DWV can be passed without mites. For example it can be in eggs layed by an infected queen, and it can be passed to larvae in the food fed them by infected nurse bees. It should be noted though that these types of virus transfer are low enough to ensure that infection rates of the hive will go down, if mites are not involved.
In your case, although DWV may be present in the hive, it is highly unlikely that every last drone has deformed wings as a result, because only a few infected bees actually get deformed wings. More likely, drone larvae raised in LW hives are typically poorly fed and cared for, and it is that which is more likely to result in poor development, or there may be a genetic component. DWV might be playing a part also but unlikely to be the full story.
Yes you can re use the combs. You might pass some virus to the recipient hives, but all hives have some DWV. The important thing is to have varroa mite population as near to zero as possible, and whatever DWV is in the hive will gradually reduce, in the absense of mites.
Just my own experience, I have given combs from chronically DWV infected hives straight to healthy hives, and as long as there are not enough mites to perpetuate the infection, it has been a non issue.
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