HomeBeekeepingWhat's the Kashmir Bee Virus (KBV)?

What’s the Kashmir Bee Virus (KBV)?

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The Kashmir Bee Virus (KBV) is among the ailments that have an effect on honey bees. Similar to every other viruses and pathogens, it spreads swiftly in honey bee colonies. That is attributable to the truth that honey bees are social bugs and thus viruses will unfold on account of shut contacts among the many honey bee, sharing meals and clustering during times of confinement.

Honey bees instinctively scale back illness danger via a mixture of habits, that’s, social immunity, or particular person immune operate. The effectiveness of honey bee social and particular person immunities has a direct impact on the general well being or state of the colony.

The parasitic mite known as Varroa compromise the heath of the honey bee colony. The parasites suppress the nutrient ranges, cripple particular person immunity and unfold viruses. Loads of future analysis will likely be geared in the direction of a greater perceive of the dynamics of diet to immunity relationship with respect to the extent of stress, seasons or time of the yr or colony demographics.

The Kashmir Bee Virus is widespread globally and is thought to be probably the most virulent amongst all viruses that have an effect on honey bees. One of many issues that make it so totally different from different viruses, is the truth that it doesn’t trigger an infection when creating honey bee ingests it. It additionally persists in its dormant state in grownup and creating bees, and can by no means present any clear signs. Nonetheless, the virus turns into deadly when transmitted by Varroa mites, and can have an effect on all types of the honey bee life cycle. And it shows no obvious signs. The virus can kill colonies even when there’s a average stage of mite infestation, identical to with the Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (ABPV).

Honey Bee Immune System

Colonies of honey bees and different social bugs depend on group behaviors and particular person immunity for survival. These assist counter viruses and ailments that pose a critical danger to their wellbeing. It helps the bugs reply to pathogens and parasites.

Social Immunity

Social immunity merely refers back to the collective protection employed by honey bees and different social bugs in opposition to parasites and pathogens via their collective effort. What this implies is that every particular person does a small job that contributes to an general wellbeing of the colony. This helps scale back the unfold of those parasites and pathogens.

Employee bees play the function of eradicating lifeless grownup bees and diseased or parasitized bees from the colony. Adults with excessive pathogen hundreds die outdoors the beehive thus serving to safe the complete colony from additional an infection.

Thermoregulatory habits can also be utilized by honey bees to maintain the colony protected. This helps counter pathogens which might be delicate to warmth. As an example, chalkbrood fungus (Ascosphaera apis).

Other than group habits; honey bees additionally gather propolis or plant resin. That is used to make a water and hermetic surroundings that helps maintain out viruses and fungus. The compounds in propolis assist enhance the immunity of the bees. The opposite substances contained in propolis inhibit Varroa mite populations via their miticidal properties.

Particular person Immunity

Honey bees additionally depend on particular person immunity in the case of protection in opposition to pathogens and ailments. Their first line of protection is the exoskeleton cuticle that acts as a bodily and chemical barrier to pathogens. The membrane lining the digestive tract can also be a primary line of protection for honey bees. These forestall pathogens from coming into the physique or sticking to the physique floor. The mobile and immune response acts a second line of protection in case the pathogens handle to get previous the primary line of protection.

The honey bee innate immune response entails recognition of the structural patterns on the floor of pathogens. That is attained via the motion of the Sample Recognition Receptors (PRRs).  These are encoded proteins that operate as brokers of protection in opposition to microbial infections in bees, identical to the blood cells in people. They’re broadly known as antimicrobial peptides (AMP). These embrace abaecin, defencin, hymenoptaecin, and apidaecin.

Among the pathways which have been experimentally recognized to manage the motion of AMP genes in response to a virus an infection embrace: Toll, JNK, Imd, and Jak-STAT. Different research famous that honey bees which have been contaminated with the Acute Bee Paralysis Virus don’t activate mobile immune or humoral responses. In comparable research carried out lately, it confirmed varied vary of set off pathways within the mobile innate immune response when the honey bees are contaminated with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IBPV).

Kashmir Bee Virus Prognosis

The Kashmir Bee Virus is carefully associated to the Acute Bee Paralysis Virus when analyzed genetically and serologically. The 2 viruses had been identified to be key contaminants in the course of the examine of the Persistent Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV) transmission. It’s believed that each viruses will need to have originated from the identical ancestor and brought totally different evolution paths in secluded geographic areas. The viruses can co-infect the identical honey bee colony and have an effect on the identical bee, making the state of affairs a lot worse.

Each KBV and ABPV may be carefully associated however the two will be readily differentiated via laboratory testing. The complicated exams undertaken present the VP4 proteins of the 2 viruses to be serologically totally different. There exist important variations between the 2 viruses when the genome is evaluated. It is a key space containing the first and secondary RNA constructions that assist the specialists distinguish the virus.

Molecular testing and analysis are key methods that assist in the course of the prognosis of the Kashmir Bee Virus in honey bee colonies, Apies mellifera. Some complicated procedures that concerned serology, that’s, chemiluminescent Western blotting, and or nucleic acid amplification, that’s RT-PCR or reverse transcription-polymerase chain response, show to be efficient. Alternatively, it’s potential to detect viral an infection, in some conditions via Coomassie blue staining of SDS-PAGE gels.

With laboratory circumstances, Kashmir bee virus can simply be differentiated from acute paralysis virus. The varied exams undertaken goal the viral RNA composition. This entails utilizing the monospecific antisera raised versus putative picornavirus equivalent to VP4 polypeptide.

The laboratory exams require a tiny quantity of fabric from the Western honey bee. Due to this fact, the examination of a single bee is ample for the ascertaining the presence of quite a few pathogens or viruses.

The Kashmir Bee Virus will be transmitted via a number of routes in honey bee colonies. Any traces of KBV detected in brood meals, royal jelly, faeces, honey, or pollen will imply the virus was transmitted orally via contaminated meals sources within the honey bee colony. Extra so, any of the virus traces detected in Varroa mites or their salivary secretions, indicate the parasite will be an agent or transmitter of KBV. Nonetheless, additional research are but to verify the efficient function performed by varroa mites in the case of the transmission of the virus whether or not bodily or biologically. The mites play a giant function in the case of transmitting viruses in honey bees. As a matter of truth, beekeepers are suggested to manage Varroa mites as a measure of countering many of the viruses that grapple beekeeping.

Signs of the Kashmir Bee Virus

The Kashmir Bee Virus will be recognized via quite a few indicators and signs.

First class:

  • Trembling of grownup bee wings and our bodies. The bees are unable to fly and will be seen crawling on the bottom or on plant stems.
  • Sick and weak bees cluster collectively.
  • Bees with a bloated stomach, resulting in dysentery. They’ll die inside a really brief time after displaying signs.

Second class:

  • Greasy grownup bees which might be hairless and might fly however inside a number of days, can now not fly. They start to tremble and shortly die.

Some or all of those indicators could also be seen throughout the identical honey bee colony. Colonies which might be severely affected, particularly the strongest shortly start to lose grownup employees. Finally, this results in a colony collapse. Initially, indicators could not present and later start to manifest when it’s too late. Thus, common monitoring of the honey bee colonies can by no means be emphasised sufficient. Beekeepers needs to be looking out for any signal that seems out of the norm. The general behaviour of the colony can act as a information.


Kashmir Bee Viruses usually goal the digestive system and can get into the system via oral ingestion of meals. The virus infects the epithelial cells positioned throughout the mid intestine. These cells are repeatedly changed and are usually secured by membranes and filters that maintain off the pathogens from intestine tissues. Nosema apis and Nosema cerana are the parasites that infect the intestine space, creating lesions within the epithelium. This permits dangerous viruses equivalent to Kashmir to penetrate to the haemolymph and destroy another cells within the honey bee physique.

Apparently, an exterior parasite equivalent to Varroa destructor straight feeds on bee haemolymph. It inflicts openings on the bee cuticle that pave manner for viruses to enter. Keep in mind, most virus infections won’t ever lead to an an infection if ingested orally. Nevertheless, it takes a number of virus particles to trigger an an infection if straight injected to the haemolymph. Many viruses that have an effect on honey bees are transmitted by Varroa mites.

Some viruses like sacbrood, have been recognized in Varroa mites via lab exams. Nevertheless, Varroa mites don’t transmit the virus straight. Different exams have proven Kashmir bee virus multiplies in Varroa mites.

Management Measures for the Kashmir Bee Virus

Inspecting beehive frame for the Kashmir Bee Virus

Kashmir Bee Viruses can persist in regular and wholesome colonies with out discover. They later explode in instances of stress. A lot of the honey bee viruses are damaging mixed with different stressors equivalent to Varroa or Nosema. Due to this fact, steady and built-in administration of those triggers may also help decrease the virus.

Common inspection of honey bee colonies is inspired. The beekeeper needs to be aware of the indicators and signs that may assist inform whether or not there’s a viral an infection or not. A few of these embrace colonies being gradual to construct up, sporadic brood patterns that point out the brood has been eliminated. If illness is suspected, a pattern needs to be taken and prognosis executed.

The Kashmir Bee Virus doesn’t have a selected remedy. Thus, beekeepers ought to undertake advisable measures for management and minimizing viruses in honey bee colonies. Beekeepers can scale back viral unfold and reduce publicity to different triggers like parasites, pesticides, and dietary deficiency. Moreover, uncontrolled populations of Varroa mites are the principle brokers of transmission of viral infections.

1. Vitamin and Immunity

Nectar and pollen are ideally ample for sustaining honey bees since they comprise the required dietary necessities. The bees usually gather pollen and nectar in extreme quantities throughout peak seasons and is saved in preparation for durations of dearth, within the type of beebread and honey.

The primary supply of power for all of the phases of the honey bee is the honey, ideally wealthy in carbohydrates. Pollen however supplies protein and different vitamins which might be important for immunity, development, and brood rearing.

The kind of feed taken by the honey bees will have an effect on their immunity and straight impacts how the colony will reply to a virus such because the Kashmir Bee Virus and others. The protein contained in pollen is wealthy in amino acids that assist in the course of the manufacturing of peptides in immune pathways. Moreover, the carbohydrates sourced from honey helps pump power for metabolic processes that affect mobile immune reactions and innate humoral reactions. It is usually a supply of secondary plant metabolites that boast antimicrobial properties.

Due to this fact the primary defence in opposition to any viral assault is the honey bee diet. Varro mite infestation can adversely compromise colony response to pathogens. Enough diet needs to be availed all through the varied phases of the honey bee because it helps elevate a stronger colony that may overcome parasitic and viral invasion. As an example, employee bees which might be parasitized throughout their developmental phases emerge with low protein a stage that’s not possible to boosts even when the ample pollen is offered. This additionally applies to the pupae stage of the honey bee. The parasitic infested pupae find yourself with decrease protein content material, low amino acid ranges, and considerably decrease weight on emergence when in comparison with wholesome pupae.

Due to this fact ample and good high quality feed needs to be offered to the honey bees as the primary line of defence in opposition to the Kashmir Bee Virus. As soon as that is executed the remainder turns into a lot simpler to deal with. Nevertheless, Varroa mite management needs to be a precedence alongside dietary concerns. Keep in mind, ample sources throughout peak seasons additionally stimulate the Varroa mite inhabitants development as nicely. Due to this fact, if not thought of your effort may be counterproductive.

The mites have developed mechanisms of survival even in the course of the powerful instances. As an example, the Varroa mite inhabitants will increase considerably throughout fall when the brood is at its minimal. The parasites additionally develop quicker contained in the drone cells. These cells are chosen for the reason that cells are bigger and their submit capping stage takes 15 days which is for much longer than that of employee bees (11 days). This subsequently means the mites are in a position to produce extra offspring for every cycle.

2. Decrease Colony Transmission

The beekeepers ought to scale back the unfold of the virus between colonies since viral infections are greater when there’s a greater variety of a honey bee colony.

This may be achieved by:

  • Lowering the variety of honey bee colonies in every apiary.
  • Strategic placement of beehives to keep away from the drift of contaminated honey bees. Spacing honey bee colonies farther aside with hives going through totally different instructions.
  • Avoiding using frames from contaminated colonies different honey bee colonies. Any colony portraying signs of a viral an infection needs to be averted.
  • All hive instruments and gear needs to be cleaned with alcohol after inspection.
  • Feed honey bees with high-quality feed.


3. Cultural Options

Cultural options may also help maintain off the Kashmir Bee Virus and different viruses. Using Varroa mite resistant shares of honey bees will assist. Among the resistant shares embrace the Russian honey bee. Different shares which might be Varroa delicate and the ankle-biter or leg-chewer shares can resist KBV and different viruses. These honey bee shares have additionally proven a capability of suppressing viral populations.

4. Decrease Pesticides Publicity

Beekeepers ought to decrease exposing their honey bees to pesticides. First off, they will register with their native authorities in order that they’re knowledgeable when a pesticide spray is about to be carried out inside their space. It is usually necessary to satisfy with native growers throughout the locality in order to deliberate on methods of minimizing pesticide use.

5. Mechanical Options

a. Outdated Honey Combs Removing

Viruses and different contaminants of the hive construct up over time on wax combs, and if not eliminated it might result in unfold of viruses and ailments. Due to this fact, previous honey combs needs to be rotated recurrently or eliminated fully. As a basic information, substitute not less than ⅓ of the honey frames in every colony yearly. Any previous combs which have been eliminated needs to be destroyed.

b. Propolis Accumulation

It’s often gathered on hive entrances and different openings that exist within the beehive. Bees have been utilizing propolis for the longest time and beekeepers have discovered about its effectiveness in countering honey bee viruses and ailments. The beekeeper can apply the propolis answer on the inside of honey bee hives. Alternatively, you’ll be able to encourage honey bees to deposit propolis throughout the beehive via quite a few methods. First off, scrape off the inside a part of wooden used to construct hives in order to make it tough. This can encourage honey bees to deposit propolis. Secondly, using a cotton fabric as inside cowl will encourage the bees to fill it up with propolis.

6. Chemical Options

Primarily ,there are not any particular chemical therapies for the Kashmir Bee Virus, identical to many different viruses in honey bee colonies. Luckily, sure pure chemical substances that will not be out there commercially, will assist curb the unfold of the virus. These substances have been recognized by researchers since wild bees have been utilizing them for a few years. Others have been found via trial and error and have confirmed to work.

They embrace the next:

a. Thymol remedy

Thymol is a potent ingredient that helps counter many of the viruses that have an effect on honey bee colonies. Apiaries needs to be handled with 0.16 ppm thymol. This has confirmed to to scale back ranges of Kashmir Bee Virus. It additionally helps counter acute bee paralysis (ABPV). This may be utilized on simply emerged honey bees then returned to colonies. Sadly, thymol remedy could not assure constant outcomes.

b. Propolis answer

Propolis is among the naturally merchandise utilized by honey bees as disinfectant. It has been examined and confirmed to spice up the immunity of honey bees and inhibits virus unfold in honey bee colonies. Propolis answer will be utilized to the beehive and the bees as a manner of countering the Kashmir Bee Virus and different viruses.

c. Fungal extracts

Fungal extracts from two main species, that’s, Ganoderma retinaculum and Fomes fomentarius may also help scale back ranges of the Kashmir Bee Virus and different viruses in honey bee colonies.


You possibly can forestall colony losses from Kashmir Bee Virus via correct management and administration of Varroa mites. The honey bee is thought to be an important pollinator for loads of agricultural crops and different wild plant species globally. Similar to every other agricultural-based exercise, beekeeping as a enterprise is necessary in numerous nations, not simply because it’s required for pollination providers for fruits and seeds manufacturing, but additionally as a result of it supplies honey bee merchandise which might be exported to different nations.

The Kashmir Bee Virus isn’t so widespread or prevalent in Australia or the US. Nonetheless, in situations the place it’s endemic, it’s hardly ever reported inside Europe, identical to most different dicistroviruses. The virus often stays dormant inside wholesome colonies till some triggers or stress elements stimulate viral multiplication resulting in demise of the honey bee colony.

Varied research have identified that Kashmir Bee Virus an infection will happen on the totally different creating phases of the honey bees, with none clear or identifiable virus signs. The illness has been so widespread during the last decade. In reality, it’s perceived as a probably deadly virus that has change into extra necessary and requiring pressing motion. It’s significantly categorized throughout the class of viruses which might be linked to colony collapse in colonies infested with the Varroa mite destructor.



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