|Authors: ||W. Boylan-Pett, D.C. Ramsdell, R.A. Hoopingarner, J.F. Hancock|
Blueberry leaf mottle nepovirus (BBLMV), is spread via pollen rather than by nematodes.
Factors associated with honey bees that facilitate the spread of BBLMV to highbush blueberries were examined.
These factors included the longevity of infective BBLMV in the honey bee colony and in-hive pollen transfer within and between colonies.
BBLMV was found to be infective for at least 10 days within colonies of the honey bee, which is the primary pollinator.
Twelve of 84 potted, 3-year-old cv.
Jersey blueberry plants that were caged with bee colonies containing BBLMV-infected pollen, tested ELISA-positive for the virus.
Sap inoculation from 6 of the 12 bushes caused infection in Chenopodium quinoa. Counts of pollen grains washed from 'house bees' (bees that never left the colony) gave a mean of 5,149 pollen grains per bee, indicating that in-hive pollen transfer could occur.
Evidence of in-hive virus transfer between colonies and to a lesser extent between apiaries was also documented by observing the drifting (wandering far away from the bee's hive and/or visiting other hives) behaviour of honeybees.
Only 42.6% of the total foragers of a colony originated from their own colony and 2.4% of them were from colonies located 600 m apart.
This drifting phenomenon could contribute to increased spread of BBLMV by bee-to-bee contact and multiple colony visits.
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