June 25, 2024


Outstanding health & fitness

What is Thai sacbrood virus and why does it affect bee colonies?

  • The Asian honey bee (Apis cerana), additional generally observed in South India, is being impacted by Thai sacbrood virus (TSBV).
  • Given that the disease does not straight have an affect on individuals, the analysis has been slow. But if the distribute carries on, it may direct to the extinction of the most domesticated species of bees in south India.
  • While apiary hygiene steps and isolating the queen bees are encouraged as methods, additional study is necessary to aid beekeepers handle the problem of TSBV.

Thai Sacbrood, a viral sickness influencing honey bee colonies, has resurfaced in southern India. The disease, which has been dormant in the southern states for some decades, is again and impacting the populace of bees especially of the Apis cerana species. This, in turn, can have significantly-reaching implications for human everyday living that is indirectly or instantly dependant on honey bees.

What is Thai sacbrood virus and how does it work?

Thai sacbrood virus (TSBV) is a variant of sacbrood virus (SBV), a viral illness influencing honey bee colonies. TSBV sickness was initial noticed in Thailand in 1976. In 1991-92, there was an outbreak of the virus in India which resulted in the destruction of far more than 90 per cent of the then-existing bee colonies in south India. The disorder kills bees when they are larvae, therefore reducing the populace of bee colonies.

To identify the diseased combs, the combs are noticed for any colour transform. The color of the prepupae (the developmental stage prior to the pupal phase) alterations from white to yellow, then to dark brown. Other indicators include: the existence of prepupae with elevated, pointed heads in the comb cells, and dead larvae that change into ‘sac-like’ constructions stuffed with fluid. At the age of 10 days, they can be quickly removed. Sacbrood virus that attacks Apis mellifera is fewer virulent when when compared to TSBV.

Apis cerana honey bees largely found in south India. Photo by Chinmaya KV.
Apis cerana honey bees are mostly uncovered in south India. Picture by Chinmaya KV.

What is the importance of Apis cerana bees?

Apis cerana or the Asian honey bee is 1 of the most domesticated species of honey bees in India and it is important to understand about the strategies to shield their inhabitants. Bees are very essential for the ecosystem. Human beings rely on the bees straight (for honey that has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory attributes) and indirectly. Bees participate in a important job in pollination. Crops generate fantastic yields if animals and insects assistance them pollinate. And bees are the most dominant pollinators of fruit, vegetable and crop plants. Details reveals that bees take a look at all over 90 p.c of the world’s best 107 crops. In a analyze printed last year in Mother nature, experts located evidence that melittin, a part identified in honeybee venom, can kill most cancers cells.

Apis mellifera, Apis cerana, Apis dorsata, Apis florea and Trigona are the big bee species uncovered in India.  Apis cerana is found mostly in south India. The two farmed and wild bees are liable for the advancement and quality of vegetation. Bees are critical for food security. Nevertheless, the population of bees globally is in decrease. It is important to guard them and be organized to deal with the viruses that attack their colonies.

Why do we will need to research the virus?

Apiculture is an vital supply of extra cash flow for farmers and labourers. Beekeeping has turn out to be a important occupation in south India considering that the 20th century. TSBV would also affect the livelihood of many this sort of farmers. Nagendra Sagar, a expert beekeeper and beekeeping demonstrator from Shivamogga, Karnataka, expresses worry in excess of the unfold of TSBV saying, “A several years back again we discontinued beekeeping thanks to the outbreak of this virus in south India. The migration of bees from different states could be just one motive for this outbreak. Now, we see TSBV energetic all over again in the bee colonies of the Western Ghats in Karnataka.”

Sagara adds, “As apiarists, we require far more knowing of TSBV to be capable to management it. Since it does not affect individuals, we speculate that the scientific group is disregarding the unfold. So, there is no big study going on in this field.”

It is also important that a lot more researchers and scientists do the job on this, for the reason that TSBV may well unfold to other parts of the planet and may perhaps not be contained within just south India. By researching TSBV we may well be warned of the following viruses that may damage the bees as well.

Thai Sac Brood virus (TSBV) disease attacking Indian honey bees has been posing threat to hives of Apis cerana. Photo by Chinmaya KV.
Thai Sac Brood virus (TSBV) sickness attacking Indian honey bees has been posing a  threat to hives of Apis cerana. Image by Chinmaya KV.

How do we protect bees from TSBV?

The process most recommended to manage the spread of the condition, is to take out the infected honeycombs that include the lifeless larvae, and burn up them. This virus, also spreads through human beings, similar to SARS-COV2. If a particular person touches infected colonies, and then touches healthy packing containers, the virus surges to other packing containers as properly. It is proposed that the individuals responsible, normally clean their arms with cleaning soap prior to touching new boxes. A the latest study implies isolating the queen bee from the other functioning bees in the colonies to control the unfold. Nonetheless, there is no distinct protocol to help save the honey bees from TSBV.

The Chairman of the Biodiversity Board, Federal government of Karnataka, Ananth Hegde Ashisar, assures that the scientists will take care of this and come up with a very clear solution quite shortly. He provides, “The Karnataka Biodiversity Board is scheduling to declare the honey bee as a ‘state insect’, thinking of its importance in the ecosystem. Relating to the TSBV, we regret to notify you that our scientists and anxious officers are not pursuing it up with the Federal government and beekeepers. We have knowledgeable the worried minister and officers to glimpse into it.”

Scientific beekeeping and checking the viruses in distinctive species of bees are critical to make positive TSBV doesn’t distribute any additional.


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Banner picture: Apis cerana bees. Picture by Denis Anderson, CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons.