Colony Health – Diseases, Viruses, CCD

Sick Bees Part 18A: Colony Collaspse Revisited

First published in: ABJ May 2012

Gone, or Just Taking a Breather? CCD in Retrospect? The Anatomy of Colony Collapse Relative Risk The Holst Milk Test Treating for Nosema Pollen Supplement Patties Yet Another Sign of Impending Collapse Ag Exposure as a Risk Factor Reliving History Acknowledgements References [8] The Holst Milk Test Randy Oliver In my article on almond […]

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Sick Bees – Part 9: Pathogens and Plagues

First published in ABJ May 2011

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First published in: American Bee Journal December 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS The Paper What Do Bromenshenk and the Army Claim to Have Found? The Team The Tools A Novel Approach Back to the Paper Q & A Iridescent Virus Practical Applications Acknowledgements References A man walking along the street one night sees another searching for his lost keys under a street lamp and […]

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Sick Bees – Part 8: Time for a Paradigm Shift!

First published in: American Bee Journal April 2011

Bee health issues completely changed with the invasion of the varroa mite. Beekeeping success these days is largely dependent upon managing the mite level in your hives. However, it’s not varroa that actually kills colonies; rather, it is the bee viruses, which is why I’ve been belaboring the subject. Mite management should be considered as […]

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Sick Bees – Part 7: How does immunity to a virus spread throughout the hive? And can we use this mechanism to our advantage?

First published in: American Bee Journal March 2011

Trans Generational Immune Priming The honey bee does not take the insults thrown at them by all these weird recombinant and chimerical viruses lying down, or we simply wouldn’t have any bees left! As I explained in the last installment, bees can “fix” immunity to a certain virus in their genome. This process has been […]

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Sick Bees – Part 6: Infection by Multiple Viruses

First published in: American Bee Journal February 2011

We beekeepers hear from researchers that our sick bees are full of viruses. Understandably, we want to know what we can do about it. But to most of us, virus infections are a “black box”—a generally invisible, mysterious phenomenon about which we can do little other than to control one of the modes of transmission […]

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Sick Bees – Part 5: Multiple Infections

First published in: American Bee Journal January 2011

Table of Contents The Problem of Co-infection1 The Battle of the Brood Pathogens 2 The Cost of Immunity 3 Opportunistic Pathogens 4 Varroa and Nosema 5 References 5 I ended the last installment of this series by asking the question, what happens when there are multiple parasites suppressing the bee immune system simultaneously? In this […]

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Sick Bees – Part 4: Immune Response to Viruses

First published in: American Bee Journal November 2010

Table of Contents Bees vs. Viruses 1 Back to School 2 Practical Application 4 Viruses Fight Back 4 MicroRNA’s 4 Inapparent Virus Infections 5 Acknowledgements 5 References 5 Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites that infect all organisms, from bacteria to humans. Their evolution represents a constant arms race with the host: Viruses need to reprogram […]

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Sick Bees – Part 3: The Bee Immune System

First published in: American Bee Journal October 2010

In my previous article, I proposed a model for the in-hive positive feedback loops that may lead to colony collapse. Before I can further explain the model, we must understand more precisely how the bee immune system functions, as it appears to be that the mechanisms leading to the disappearance of bees are rooted in […]

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Sick Bees – Part 2: A Model of Colony Collapse

First published in: American Bee Journal September 2010

Over the past year, I have watched the experimentally-induced collapse of an apiary. The experience has helped me to understand the progression of colony collapse due to multiple parasite infection. The California Trial Last year I was approached by Nitzan Paldi, Chief Technology Officer of the Miami-based company Beeologics (and a beekeeper himself), to run […]

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Sick Bees – Part 1

First published in: American Bee Journal Aug 2010

Most any long-time beekeeper has noticed that bees are simply not as healthy as they used to be, and that we have been plagued with a spate of unusual colony collapses in recent years. As luck would have it, I’ve been an intimate witness to the experimentally-induced collapse of colonies in a field trial this […]

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