Kashmir Bee Virus

The Kashmir Bee Virus is a viral disease of the honey bee variety known as Apis cerana. It was first isolated in 1974. When the Apis Mellifera bee was brought to south Asia, the virus found a new host. From then on, it spread worldwide. This virus belongs to the Dicistroviridae Family, Genus Cripavirus, and Order Picornavirales. Its RNA is single stranded. It can infests all hive inhabitants whether adults or brood. The adults die but there are larvae that manage to overcome the infection and eventually turn into uninfected adults. The research done recently has shown that the Kashmir Bee Virus is somehow related to the Colony Collapse Disorder diseases that has affected so many apiaries in the past few years. The Kashmir Bee Virus is very similar with the virus that causes Acute Paralysis in honeybees.

The Kashmir Bee Virus usually develops in bee families affected by the Varroa Mite as well. It is very well known that mites have the ability to transmit viruses due to the piercings they make into the cuticle of adult bees. The virus affects mainly pupae. If several generations of mites manage to survive within the same hive, then all mites will be infested with the Kashmir Virus.

The infection is transmitted from one bee to another through food, feeding or any other type of contact. The queen bee also passes the diseases to the brood by means of a trans-ovarian route. It is also thought that Nosema and Acarapis woodi are also responsible for the spreading of the Kashmir Bee Virus.


A bee family might have been infested with the Kashmir Bee Virus if there is no obvious reason for its sudden weakening. Another sign is a high number of dead bees either at the hive entrance or near the interior cover. The infested bees tremble and are unable to control the movements they make. The bees infested with this virus have the upper part of their thorax very dark colored. The virus also causes hair loss, giving the bees a greasy aspect. The young bees have an opaque look. However, the best diagnosis method is not direct observation but laboratory analysis.

Treatment and control

Up till now there is no medication available for the treatment of the Kashmir Bee Virus. In order to prevent virus outburst clean and stress-free bee families should be the target of any beekeeper. The best solution would be to raise families that are not so susceptible in catching this virus. This can be done thorough re-queening with individuals that come from Kashmir Bee Virus resistant families. It is also very important for the bee colonies to have sufficient food resources. Mite treatment should be applied on regular basis and all hive hygiene rules have to be respected. It is very important to bear in mind that the Kashmir Bee Virus coexists with other bee viruses.

Honey bee disease > Acarine mites > Acute bee paralysis virus > American Foulbrood > Black Queen Cell Virus > Bee louse> Chalkbrood > Chilled Brood > Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus > Cloudy wing virus > Colony Collapse Disorder > Deformed Wing Virus > Bee Dysentery > European Foulbrood > Israelii acute paralysis virus > Kashmir Bee Virus > Nosema > Sacbrood virus > Bee septicemia > Stonebrood > Varroa Mite >

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