A new article was just published in Viruses, titled Apis mellifera Solinvivirus-1, a Novel Honey Bee Virus That Remained Undetected for over a Decade, Is Widespread in the USA.
A team of bee scientists and virologists from the Department of Entomology of the University of Maryland and the USDA Beltsville Bee Research lab, led by Dr. Eugene Ryabov, discovered a novel virus of honey bees (Apis mellifera) while investigating a US apiary with high, unexplained colony losses. Dr. Ryabov conducted a metagenomic analysis of the virome of honey bees from the apiary and identified a new RNA virus, a member of the family Solinviviridae, which was named Apis mellifera solinvivirus-1 (AmSV1). After the initial discovery, archived honey bee samples from the APHIS National Honey Bee Disease Survey were analyzed for the presence of AmSV1, and we found that 10.45% of sampled apiaries were positive for the novel virus in the 2021 survey year. An analysis of additional archived samples confirmed that AmSV1 has been present in the US since at least 2010 (this is as far as our records go back). Because there was a significant positive correlation between presence of AmSV1 and apiaries that were experiencing signs of queen failure, further investigation is needed on the virus’ pathology and impact on honey bee queens.
Scientists working on the APHIS National Honey Bee Disease Survey are continuing to research Apis mellifera solinvivirus-1 and its impact on honey bees, and we will continue to share updates when they are hot off the press!