Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV)

Bees with ‘Type 1’ chronic bee paralysis symptoms. Photo courtesy of e Animal
and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright.
Bees with ‘Type 1’ chronic bee paralysis symptoms. Photo courtesy of The Animal
and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright.

  • Chronic bee paralysis is a disease caused by the Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV).
  • Symptoms of CBPV include trembling, shivering, shaking, and hair loss in bees.
  • CBPV is transmitted through fecal-oral and mechanical routes, with the latter being particularly important.
  • The virus is more common than the disease itself, with 30% of colonies having the virus but only 1% showing symptoms.
  • Risk factors for the disease include professional beekeepers, recent imports, and higher apiary density.
  • CBPV may be reemerging in the UK, with cases increasing exponentially.
  • Pollen may help prevent disease in adult bees exposed to CBPV.
  • Dead bees are an important source of infection, and the disease can build up slowly over time.
  • The role of drones in CBPV transmission is not yet clear, but they may be a source of infection.
  • There is currently no evidence-based control policy for CBPV, but research is ongoing.
  • The virus can remain infectious for an extended period, possibly carrying over from season to season.
  • Congestion in colonies may increase the transmission rate of CBPV.

In his presentation at the BBKA Spring Convention, Prof Giles Budge starts by asking the audience if they have seen the symptoms of the disease and then explains the symptoms in detail. He then talks about the causative agent of the disease, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus, and how it is transmitted. He also mentions some knowledge gaps about the disease and then talks about some research that has been done to try to answer some of those questions. He goes on to discuss the emergence and reemergence of the disease in the UK, how common it is, and what the disease risk factors are. He also mentions some control options that have been tried and their success rates.

This article from the National Bee Unit on Chronic Bee Paralysis provides detailed insights into the disease, its historical context, symptoms, diagnosis, prevalence, and possible management techniques. Key points include:

  1. Chronic Bee Paralysis has a history of diverse names across different regions, identified by Leslie Bailey in the 1960s as caused by a virus.
  2. Symptoms are categorized into Type 1 (trembling, paralysis, dysentery) and Type 2 (hairless, shiny appearance), often occurring together in affected colonies.
  3. Diagnosis can be challenging, with symptoms sometimes mistaken for other afflictions or pesticide poisoning.
  4. A significant outbreak example cited involves the loss of 150 out of 400 colonies in one operation.
  5. The virus is found globally, with prevalence higher in apiaries showing poor health.
  6. It primarily affects adult bees, causing nervous system hijacking for viral replication.
  7. The virus spreads easily in crowded conditions and is not transmitted by varroa mites but can infect other hymenopterans like ants.
  8. No definitive treatments have been established, but a modified shook swarm method shows promise.
  9. Increasing prevalence might be linked to changing weather and resulting confinement in populous colonies.
  10. The document emphasizes the need for extended knowledge and tools for managing this viral disease effectively.