Bees

Honey bee testing at the Animal Health Laboratory

The AHL offers quantitative detection of honey bee (Apis mellifera) pathogens as a routine testing service.  The test results can be used to identify the presence of pathogens, and to assist in the distinction between low-grade latent infection and high-level infection that can lead to disease and declines in honey bee health. The quantitative PCR test methods for honey bee pathogens listed below are Standards Council of Canada (SCC) accredited under the AHL flexible scope for PCR assays as listed on Lab Services’ SCC scope of accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2005.  These assays include:

  • Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV)
  • Black queen cell virus (BQCV)
  • Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV)
  • Deformed wing virus (DWV)
  • Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV)
  • Kashmir bee virus (KBV)
  • Sacbrood virus (SBV)
  • Crithidia mellificae
  • Spiroplasma apis, Spiroplasma melliferum
  • Tropilaelaps spp.

The AHL also offers:

  • microscopy examination for tracheal mites (Acarapis woodi)
  • visual detection and PCR genotyping of Varroa mites (Varroa destructor)
  • PCR detection and DNA sequencing confirmation for small hive beetles
  • PCR detection of Lotmaria passim, Nosema apis and N. ceranae, Apocephalus borealis

The bacterial causes of American foulbrood (Paenibacillus larvae) and European foulbrood (Melissococcus plutonius) can be culture isolated and tested for antimicrobial resistance.

The AHL can also quantitatively test vitellogenin (a biomarker for honey bee health) mRNA levels for honey bee health monitoring.

For research project sample testing please contact the AHL:

Email: ahlinfo@uoguelph.ca

Tel: 1 519 824-4120 ext 54530

For field samples submitted through the OMAFRA Apiarist or Apiary Inspectors, please contact:

Email: paul.kozak@ontario.ca

Tel: 1 519 826-3595

Website: www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/food/inspection/bees/info_beeinspectors.htm