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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a newbie currently running two hives. Recently things started going downhill and after reading a lot on viruses I would like to find out if there is a reliable test for viruses. I heard about tests for AFB and EFB those that look like a pregnancy test, but couldn't find anything similar for viruses. I wonder how do people know other than looking into a microscope? I refuse to believe that everybody who can diagnose a virus should have a PhD in Biology and access to university equipment. Or I'm I too foolish?
Thanks
 

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Um, you said it.. I too wish there was a kit to diagnose viruses; you do need a microscope for viruses. Even being able to diagnose n. cerana and n.apis can be difficult, the spores are almost identical. Take a look at Randy Oliver’s site www.scientificbeekeeping.com he has info and some slide images on there. Wish it was easier. Also observing your bees behaviors etc. can indicate certain ones, like CBPV, BQCV, etc. Check out 2018 National Honey Show utube
(UK) good info on there.
 

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Sure, just takes that university equipment..
About $220 to find out from NC state
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is a link to a 2017 press release to bee virus testing done at North Dakota State University in Fargo. They spoke to our local beekeeping group last fall. The testing will determine the types of viruses found in your sample, and they are trying to establish methods to determine levels too.

https://www.genotypingcenter.com/uncategorized/2017-news-release/
Very much appreciated!

Also the ONLY way to deal with viruses. No treatments available for viruses.
Yes, I read about that, very sad... Maybe any alternative treatments? Anything that is maybe used on humans? Chinese medicine, anything at all? I'm willing to test it
 

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Almost all bees will test positive for DWV if the test is sensitive enough (we've tested thousands) ... so there seems little point in testing for this, the most important virus of honey bees. CBPV, the new kid on the block, can also be detected in totally asymptomatic colonies.

I think what matters is symptomatic disease caused by viruses - and the two important ones are relatively easy to diagnose.

If you're going to pay for testing make sure you ask about the sensitivity and specificity of the test. The 'cleanest' bees I have still have ~1,000 genomes per microgram total cell RNA of DWV. Highly diseased colonies have about 10,000,000,000 genomes per microgram. A worthwhile test needs that sort of dynamic range ... and must be able to detect all strains of what is a variable virus. If it doesn't, you're wasting your money ...

... and since the viruses will also probably be there in the absence of any symptoms and at levels that should be of no concern, you're probably wasting your money anyway.

If you've got mites, you've got viruses ... and you've got viruses even if you haven't got mites!
 

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Dave Wicks BVS, Inc 406-369-4214, think their prices are down to $40, checks for most of the virus's, nosema, body weight of bees, will let you know if mite count is high, but the best way to keep the virus's down is keep the mites down.
 

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cloverdale, page three and four is that something new this year? I missed a couple of samples, so only got one back. yours look pretty good.
 

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A report from 2017, a Ferguson Buckfast colony with high nosema cerana counts. This hive just dwindled and died, classic n.cerana. E9B9FB6D-07BA-4090-A2E0-B53A4C97B752.jpg F53EE06E-5286-4243-BB8A-C7099BC7E560.jpg 9479E4F4-B077-46F7-8E1F-B27F26A91EEF.jpg
The print is tiny.
 

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when the bee inspectors checked my hives this year, they used one of the old randy O's method of checking for nosema. So I took samples from the same hives and sent them to BVS, the inspectors had really high Nosema counts, BVS came back with what I would consider normal counts. So it does seem to make a difference where you take your samples.
 

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cloverdale, page three and four is that something new this year? I missed a couple of samples, so only got one back. yours look pretty good.
This was new 2019 doing the pesticide testing and other stuff.
 

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when the bee inspectors checked my hives this year, they used one of the old randy O's method of checking for nosema. So I took samples from the same hives and sent them to BVS, the inspectors had really high Nosema counts, BVS came back with what I would consider normal counts. So it does seem to make a difference where you take your samples.
Yes I guess it does. In one hive Dave said I had varroa mites, but when I rolled I maybe got one mite. zThen the opposite happened he didn’t see an6 but hive rolled high. Also had 3 hives that had CBPV; piles of dead bees on the ground under entrances. I sent a sample of bees to him and he didn't really find high levels of the virus.
 
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