The Honey Bee Pathogen Panel is currently offered to consumers on a fee for service basis. This test panel was developed by NAGC as a tool used to screen for the health of honey bees. NAGC’s pathogen panel is specific for the following 11 viral and bacterial pathogens: Acute Bee Paralysis Virus, Black Queen Cell Virus, Kashmir Bee Virus, Lake Sinai Virus 1 and 2, American Foulbrood, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus, Deformed Wing Virus, Israeli Acute Bee Paralysis Virus, Slow Bee Paralysis Virus, and European Foulbrood. This multi-target panel has been shown to be highly specific for each target using the unique DNA sequence from each pathogen. In addition to the cost savings, the utilization of a multiplex panel shortens the turnaround time which, in turn, heightens the throughput capacity of the laboratory.
In parallel to developing the multiplex panel for quick and reliable testing, NAGC has also conducted a 10 week study exploring storage conditions of honey bees to determine the acceptable parameters for storage, transit and detection. The preliminary data suggests that the pathogens were still detectable after 10 weeks stored at room temperature (~70F) without any decrease in sensitivity. These samples were compared to samples stored at the colder storage recommendations of -20C and 4C. NAGC also investigated higher than room temperature storage and those conditions are not recommended. They hope this new data will help support less stringent guidelines for testing and hopefully open the opportunity to testing for beekeepers that may not have access to cold transit shipping conditions.