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New leaflet for beekeepers on the European Foulbrood in free access

Published on 05/06/2018

A leaflet presenting the European Foulbrood disease caused by the bacterium Melissococcus plutonius has been produced by the EU RL in collaboration with the NRLs from Sweden and Switzerland. This leaflet is intended for the beekeepers and is available in free access on the following link. https://sites.anses.fr/en/minisite/abeilles/free-access-documents-0 We thank all the persons who participated to the writing of this leaflet. Reminder: on this link you will also access on the leaflets on the Small Hive Beetle, Tropilaelaps spp., the American foulbrood and Vespa velutina in various languages.

Suspicion of introduction of the small hive beetle Aethina tumida in France

Published on 11/05/2018

On 26th March 2018, queen cages of Apis mellifera bees imported from Argentina arrived in France and were sent to a certified laboratory for examination of the presence of the small hive beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida and Tropilaelaps spp. as stated in the Commission Regulation EU 206/2010. Results were sent to the French General Directorate for Food (DGAl) on 17th April. Four eggs, suspected to be Aethina tumida’s eggs, were found and sent to the French NRL for identification. Identification of SHB by morphological analyses is not feasible on eggs. Thus molecular analyses were conducted for the identification of A. tumida but also for the identification of Apis mellifera, in case the eggs were from bees. Results from both analyses were not conclusive due to the state of the eggs and the weak quantity of genetic material purified from it. Consequently, the DGAl asked ANSES on 23rd April to assess the risk of introduction and spread of SHB in France from this queen import. The expert opinion concluded to a nil to nearly nil probability of establishment of SHB in a French apiary following this queen import considering notably that the importer respected the Commission Regulation for import of bee queens from Third Countries. Queens were transferred to new cages before being introduced in new colonies leading to a nil to nearly nil probability of a SHB adult being transferred with a queen to a colony. However in order to prevent any risk, the DGAl asked the regional veterinary services on 3rd May as recommended in the expert opinion to: 1) set up a surveillance in colonies located around the premises where queens were transferred to new cages, 2) set up inspections in colonies where queens were introduced, 3) reinforce surveillance around the airport of Aix-Marseille where queen cages arrived in France. References: Memorandum from the DGAl n° DGAL/SDSPA/2018-373 of 07 May 2018 on the management of a suspicion of Aethina tumida following the inspection of honey bee queen cages imported from Argentina (in french) Opinion of ANSES n° 2018-SA-0107 of 3 May 2018 on the « risk of introduction and spread of Aethina tumida on the national territory following the discovery of suspect elements during the inspection of 1000 honey bee queen cages imported from Argentina » (in french)

Inter-laboratory proficiency tests organised by the EU RL: appointment in 2019

Published on 12/01/2018

There are no proficiency tests planned for 2018. The next proficiency tests will be organised in 2019 and they will be announced on the website at the beginning of 2019. We remind that these proficiency tests are mainly intended for the National Reference Laboratories and the Official Laboratories of the European Union. If other laboratories are interested in participating in a proficiency test, please contact eurl.bee@anses.fr for more information. 

Detection of Aethina tumida in Italy in 2017

Published on 08/01/2018

Note prepared by the EU RL for Honeybee Health (Laboratory of  Anses Sophia Antipolis) Updated news (07th. March 2018) To see the details of the outbreaks observed in 2016, please click here. 

Third training on honey bee diseases held on October 18 2017

Published on 28/07/2017

On October 18th., the EU RL for Honeybee Health organised the third training on honeybee diseases. The training was dedicated to the PCR diagnosis methods (conventional and real-time) for detection, identification and/or quantification of honey bee pathogens. This training was intended for EU NRLs that have little or no experience in the diagnosis of bee diseases by PCR and wish to implement such methods. The requirements and recommendations for implementation of PCR diagnosis described in the international standards (OIE and ISO 17025) were presented. Then, the implementation and the performance of PCR diagnosis methods as long as the interpretation of either qualitative or quantitative results were detailed. Presentations are available for members of the network on the website.

Seventh EU RL annual workshop held on October 17 2017

Published on 16/06/2017

The EU RL for Honeybee Health held its 7th. annual workshop on 17th. October 2017. The main activities conducted by the EU RL in 2017 were presented. The agenda focused on the enhancement of diagnostic tools in parasitology, virology and bacteriology, the production of reference materials and the organization of two interlaboratory proficiency tests (ILPTs) in 2017 – one on Nosema spores counting by microscopy and another on the determination of neonicotinoid residues in beebread. Besides the presentation of the main actions and activities conducted by the EU RL, participants had the pleasure to listen to presentations from various NRL representatives. In addition, Dr. Panuwan Chantawannakul (Chiang Mai University, Thailand) was invited to present current knowledge on Tropilaelaps spp. mites. Dr. Metka Pislak Ocepek, from the Slovenian NRL, gave a talk on their activities and the honey bee health status in their country. Hemma Köglberger, from the Austrian NRL presented a surveillance study set up during one year in Austria to collect data on colony losses. Dr. Franco Mutinelli presented a state of play of the occurrence and surveillance of the small hive beetle in Southern Italy and Kirsty Stainton from the British NRL showed the actions set up following the detection of Asian hornet specimens in United Kingdom in 2016. We thank all the speakers for their interesting presentations and to all contributors of this fruitful workshop. Presentations are available for members of the network on the website.

First training in the field of pesticide residues in October 2016

Published on 09/01/2017

The EU RL for Honeybee Health held its 1st. training on pesticide residue analyses on 11th. and 13th. October 2016. The training was dedicated to the harmonization of the analytical technique for the determination of neonicotinoid residues in beebread by LC-MS/MS. Two sessions were organized to allow people to handle in the laboratory. The programme consisted in carrying out an analytical technique from the preparation of samples (extraction, cleanup…) to quantitative determination by LC-MS/MS.  Presentations are available for members of the NRL network on the website.

Sixth EU RL annual workshop in October 2016

Published on 09/01/2017

The EU RL for Honeybee Health held its 6th. annual workshop on 4th. October 2016. Representatives from the Spanish NRL (Dr. Pilar Fernandez Somalo) and from the Czech NRL (MVDr. Martin Pijacek) were invited to present their activities and the honey bee health status in their respective countries. Participants exchanged on the small hive beetle infestation in Italy through the presentation of Dr. Franco Mutinelli (from the Italian NRL). Dr. Marc Schäfer (from the German NRL) presented an overview of the existing SHB detection and control strategies and Pr. Jeff Pettis (from USDA Bestville) presented the USA experience on SHB. The agenda also focused on the enhancement of diagnostic tools. Presentations are available for members of the network on the website.

Detection of Aethina tumida in Italy in 2016

Published on 05/10/2016

Note prepared by the EU RL for Honeybee Health (Laboratory of  Anses Sophia Antipolis) Updated news (29th. November 2016) To see the details of the outbreaks observed in 2015, please click here. 

Updated version of the guidelines for the surveillance of SHB infestation

Published on 24/03/2016

An updated version of the guidelines for the surveillance of Aethina tumida infestation is now available in free access here. This document has been updated by the EU RL in collaboration with the NRLs from Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Germany and United Kingdom considering the feedbacks from the surveillance in Italy. We thank all the persons who participated to the writing of these guidelines.