Viral diseases: prophylaxis and treatment


The following diseases are considered to be viral: sacbrood, acute and chronic paralysis, filamentoverosis, egyptovirosis. Besides the above mentioned viruses 13 are known but they are being studied now. That's why we'll speak about these ones. Data acquired in the process of observation and investigation enables to speak about their spreading and course within the controlled area.

The most widespread bee disease is sacbrood, the pathogenic organism was found in the organisms of females of tick varroa. Bees suffer from this disease in spring and in the first part of summer. Strong families are less affected than weak ones. Larvae of any age is affected when it is fed by royal jelly. Larvae of 1- 3 days are the most susceptible to the disease. They die when they are 5- 6 days old before turning into pupae. Pupae's death is rare. The body of died larvae is flabby and the segmentation is wrong. When taken carefully by a lancet it resembles a sack full of liquid in suspended state. Affected larvae differ from healthy ones by small head and absence of limbs. In the families with evident symptoms of the diseases, the brood is of heterogeneous color, empty cells alternate with full ones and the caps of most cells are perforated and inside such cells died larvae are found. In usual course of the disease larvae don't decomposed but dries out, the walls of larvae only remain and the larvae is easily separated from the cell. But sacbrood may appear in various forms. And in addition to the virus that causes sacbrood other bacteria add and they cause larvae decomposition. Sometimes sacbrood is taken for a foulbrood and is treated by antibiotics that in the case of sacbrood have no effect. Sometimes sacbrood is accompanied by European foulbrood.

The disease may be provoked by the overcooling of the nest when the nest is broadened untimely in spring. As a result the bee family development is retarded, it's productivity is reduced and the keeping of the colony may become unprofitable.

Sacbrood is widely spread. It was discovered in died larvae from apiaries of Krasnoyarlsky, Altaisky, Chelyabinsky, Moscow, Penzensky, Belgorodsky regions, in Moldavia, in ticks of Bashkiria, in pupae in Stavropolsky region.

Another viral disease is filamentoverosis caused by a threadlike virus, which affects grown up bees. If an abdomen of an affected by this disease bee is torn and its thorax is pressed then a drop of white and muddy like milk hemolymph will appear ( in healthy insects this liquid is transparent, like water).

The diseases appears at the end of winter and in spring, in summer and autumn it develops in latent form. Tick varroa can be a carrier of disease. Affected families hardly survive through winter, but more often the die. Sometimes the queens die. Survived families can develop and produce bee products but as a rule the disease repeats in the following years. Apiaries affected by filamentoverosis are usually susceptible to nosema disease.

Disease symptoms are not specific. In cold weather affected bees can be found at the bottom of the hive, in warm weather they are crawling on the ground. Some bees when they fly away to gather pollen, lose the orientation and the disease is often not noticed by a beekeeper.

Threadlike virus was found in died bees in Siberia, (Novossibirski region), in European part of Russia ( Moscow, Tulsky, Smolensky, Penzemsly, Rostovsky, Krasnodarsky, Stavropolsky reginons and in South Osetia), Byelorussia, Latvia, Moldovia, Ukraine.

Two more viruses can be found in died bees: that of acute paralysis, and of Egypt paralysis. They are widely spread but exist only in latent form and cause the disease only under definite favorable conditions, for example when a beekeeper allows large amount of varroa ticks. The first to notice bees' infecting by the virus through the tick was Batuev and Grobov in 1979 experimenting with one of the viruses.

Varroa ticks, carriers of infections, can activate the infection when they contaminate bees directly through blood. After that bees die in large quantities. ( the cases when the whole apiaries died were noticed).

Acute paralysis outbreaks can happen during any season of the year. Bees are infected when they feed. Incubation period during experimental contamination lasted 4-15 days. The continuity of the disease, it's the extent of it's acuteness, and the harm it may bring are different. Some bees may die whereas the rest will develop and give products, but remain to be virus carriers. The main symptom is the appearance or bees who are not able to fly. During active season young bees who leave the hive trying to fly but fall on the ground and crawl there. Sometimes they shake their bodies and rotate. In such families bees with underdeveloped wings can appear. If there are no other viruses they can live long and even perform some jobs inside the hive. If the diseases activate these bees die together with other seeming healthy bees. Egypt virus is usually found in died pupae and in bees with underdeveloped wings, virus that causes acute paralysis - in small and of normal size insects without visible defects. In the case when bees are affected by Egypt virus or acute paralysis the first step is to take measures against ticks. After diminishing of the pest number the diseases also abates.

Virus of acute paralysis was found in samples of died bees, taken in many European parts of Russia and Ukraine. Egypt virus- in died pupae and bees form apiaries in European parts of Russia, in Altai, in Armenia and Moldavia, Tadzhikistan and Turkmenia.

Bees are susceptible to one more viral disease-chronic paralysis ( it is different from acute paralysis as the pathogenic organisms are different). The virus may affect bee in any season, but the disease is the most severe in summer, in hot weather and it affects strong families who are not protected from direct sun rays. Within the family the virus communicated when bees feed. The characteristic symptoms is the appearance of bees incapable of flying. Healthy bees expel them from the hive. Affected bees crawl near the hive, sometimes get together near the bee entrance, unnaturally shake, lose hair from chitin and become black and glitter. Chronic paralysis is very rare. It's virus was found in samples of died bees, taken from apiaries in Novovssiblirsky and Amursky, Stavropolsky. Odessky regions, and Moldavia.

As follows from the mentioned above the tick plays a great role in viral infections of bees. Being a carrier of viral diseases it does much harm to apiaries. Nowadays almost every apiary suffers from this or that sort of viral disease.

Using antiviral preparation endoglucin helps to avoid these losses during spring and summer seasons, to make families healthier, increase their vital force and get more brood and more honey and other beekeeping products.

Endoglucin is a preparation of the second generation of bacteriological endonuclease, worked out in 1973-1984 in NIKTI of biologically active substances (Novosybirsky region, Berdsk). The results of its experimental and industrial tests, and also of technological and a biological experiments proved that the preparation endoglucin can be used as an antiviral and biostimulating preparation of the development of bee families.

The results showed that:

Endoglucin is an effective antiviral preparation in the case of acute and chronic paralysis, filamentovirosis, sacbrood, and obviously other viral diseases. As compared to nuclease bacterial endoglucin has not only prophylactic but also a curing effect.

Viral diseases usually have relapses, that's why the preparation should be used on apiaries for years. It increases its curative properties each year.

Endoglucin used for treatment of affected families helps to maintain bees in working condition and get more honey and other beekeeping products, that is not possible in the families which are not treated by endoglucin.

Endoglucin promotes rapid development of bee families by stimulating the queen's egg-laying activity. The increase of brood facilitates bees' preparing for honey collecting.

Endoglucin has a wide geographical range of spreading for practical services, as an antiviral preparation and a stimulus of bee family development.

During the treating a bee family with endoglucin the temperature of the hive should be no less than 14C. Hives should be warmed up and the space for the cluster should be reduced in the regions where nights are cool, for example in Siberia. The results can be very good if a bee family is treated once at the end of honey collecting season, before bees have arranged their nest for winter. In this case bees go through winter more successfully and develop more rapidly in spring. Industrial practice of using endoglucin proved that it is a harmless preparation both for bees and for a human. Endoglucin can be combined with preparations against chalk brood (with ascocin) and also against the tick varroa (with bipin)


English translation © Irina Yelsukova