Can DWV Spread Without Direct Contact with Varroa?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lyndhurst, va
    Posts
    197

    Default Can DWV Spread Without Direct Contact with Varroa?

    One of my hives became a laying worker hive. I took the boxes with frames away from my hives and dumped the bees out. Many of the drones had Deformed Winged Virus. Examined some of them, and could not find any mites. I took the frames with drone brood to my house with the intention of freezing them. Before freezing, a few drones emerged. Everyone had DWV and no mites. I could not find mites on the drone larva that I examined.

    Can bees get DWV without being bit by a mite?

    If I give these frames with drone brood to a healthy hive after freezing, can the bees get the disease from biting into the drone brood when removing it?

    Can the virus remain in the cell and contaminate new brood?

    I did not do an official mite count. There were a few mites on the tray under the hive.

    Thank you for your help.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    9,947

    Default 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.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lyndhurst, va
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Can DWV Spread Without Direct Contact with Varroa?

    Thank you Oldtimer for your informative answer. Helps a lot.

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