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Inter-laboratory proficiency tests scheduled by the EU RL in 2019

Published on 16/01/2019

The proficiency test organised by the EU RL in 2019 will be on the identification of Paenibacillus larvae, the American foulbrood agent, by microscopic examination in crushed honeybee larvae. The proficiency test will be organised in March 2019 and it will aim at evaluating the conformity (specificity and sensitivity) of the results obtained using the method routinely used in the participating laboratories for the diagnosis of American foulbrood. The deadline for registration is 15th. February 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 2018

Published on 26/10/2018

Note prepared by the EU RL for Honeybee Health (Laboratory of  Anses Sophia Antipolis) Updated news (11th. December 2018) To see the details of the outbreaks observed in 2017, please click here. 

Eighth EURL annual workshop held on October 2nd 2018

Published on 08/10/2018

The EURL for Honeybee Health held its 8th. annual workshop on 02nd. October 2018. The main activities conducted by the EURL in 2018 were presented. The agenda focused on the transfer of multiresidue methods to the GC-MS/MS, the enhancement of diagnostic tools in parasitology, virology and bacteriology, the feedback on an interlaboratory proficiency test (ILPT) organised in 2017 on Nosema spores counting by microscopy and the ILPTs to come in 2019. Besides the presentation of the main actions and activities conducted by the EURL, participants had the pleasure to listen to presentations from various NRL representatives. In addition, Dr. Richard Thiéry was invited to present an overview and lessons learnt from the EU-funded project “SmartBees” about interactions between deformed wing virus, honeybees and V. destructor. Dr. Kalinka Gurgulova, head of the Bulgarian NRL, gave a talk on their activities and the honey bee health status in their country. Dr. Anna Granato, from the Italian NRL presented a state of play of the occurrence and surveillance of the small hive beetle in Southern Italy. The EURL presented the actions set up following the suspicion of introduction of the small hive beetle in France in April 2018 through queen imports from Argentina. Surveillance measures set up as well as and laboratory analyses conducted by the French NRL were presented. 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. Participants to the 8th. EURL annual workshop held at Anses Sophia Antipolis

No identification of SHB in France following the queen import from Argentina in April 2018

Published on 08/10/2018

A suspicion of introduction of the small hive beetle (SHB) (Aethina tumida) through honey bee queen imports from Argentina was notified in France in April 2018. Following laboratory analyses, (see the Commission Regulation EU 206/2010) eggs suspected to be of A. tumida were indeed detected in the cages. Cages, accompanying attendants and packages were sent to the French National Reference Laboratory (NRL) at Anses Sophia Antipolis for identification. Identification of SHB species being not feasible on eggs, molecular analyses were conducted. Results for identification of A. tumida and A. mellifera were not conclusive due to the low quantity of genetic material available. Given the uncertainty of this suspicion and in order to prevent any risk, surveillance measures were put in place by the Directorate General for Food (DGAL), in the apiaries where queens were introduced and in the apiaries at the importer premises (23 apiaries in total); even though the expert opinion concluded to a nil to nearly nil probability of establishment of SHB in a French apiary (see in the references below the memorandum from the DGAL 07 May 2018 and ANSES scientific opinion of 3 May 2018). In all, 25 inspections were conducted on 916 colonies. Awareness campaigns were conducted intended for beekeeping organisations on the risk of introduction of SHB from risk areas and on the importance of queen cages and accompanying attendants’ control. It has to be noted that the importer had respected the Commission Regulation for import of bee queens from Third Countries. Indeed queens were transferred to new cages with new accompanying attendants before being introduced in new colonies. These actions had enabled to greatly reduce the risk of introduction. The French authorities took charge of this suspicion as soon as it was notified. The alert system set up in France showed its efficiency. The conclusions of all the inspections conducted in the apiaries where queens were introduced were satisfactory, meaning no clinical signs of SHB infestation. Subsequently, further analyses were conducted by the NRL to conclude on the nature of the eggs that were detected. A new molecular tool was used to amplify a mitochondrial gene (the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene). DNA was then sequenced. The results showed 99 % of identity of the sequences of the suspect sample with the sequence of the COI gene of Apis mellifera. The eggs found in queen cages were Apis mellifera’s eggs. Following this new information as well as the satisfactory results of the inspections, the surveillance measures set up by the DGAl were lifted at the end of July 2018. 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) The World Animal Health Information Database (WAHIS) interface from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). http://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid.php/Wahidhome/Home. Webpage visited on October 04th. 2018.  

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.

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) This article will no longer be updated. A new article on the surveillance of Aethina tumida in Italy in 2018 has been created here. 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.