Idiopathic brood disease syndrome and queen events as precursors of colony mortality in migratory beekeeping operations in the eastern United States

Dennis vanEngelsdorp, David R. Tarpy, Eugene J. Lengerich, Jeffery S. Pettis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using standard epidemiological methods, this study set out to quantify the risk associated with exposure to easily diagnosed factors on colony mortality and morbidity in three migratory beekeeping operations. Fifty-six percent of all colonies monitored during the 10-month period died. The relative risk (RR) that a colony would die over the short term (∼50 days) was appreciably increased in colonies diagnosed with Idiopathic Brood Disease Syndrome (IBDS), a condition where brood of different ages appear molten on the bottom of cells (RR=3.2), or with a " queen event" (e.g., evidence of queen replacement or failure; RR=3.1). We also found that several risk factors-including the incidence of a poor brood pattern, chalkbood (CB), deformed wing virus (DWV), sacbrood virus (SBV), and exceeding the threshold of 5 Varroa mites per 100 bees-were differentially expressed in different beekeeping operations. Further, we found that a diagnosis of several factors were significantly more or less likely to be associated with a simultaneous diagnosis of another risk factor. These finding support the growing consensus that the causes of colony mortality are multiple and interrelated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume108
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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