3.3.6. Other diseases

In general, any disease symptoms of performance test colonies should be carefully registered and documented. Special care should be taken with diseases which can be influenced by the genetics of the bees. These include American foulbrood, chalkbrood and chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV or hairless black syndrome). Usually, no prophylactic or acute treatments against those diseases are recommended on test colonies so as to observe potential susceptibility or resistance. However, for a more systematic selection, a uniform initial infection of all colonies should be provided.

A simple, qualitative documentation (symptoms observed: yes/no) may be sufficient for identification and removal of infested colonies from the breeding programme, if the disease prevalence is low among colonies. Furthermore, such data can be used to identify differences among genotypes, if results of related colonies in different test environments and seasons are available. An estimation of breeding values for chalkbrood resistance has recently been developed at the institute in Hohen Neuendorf, Germany (Ehrhardt, pers. communication), based on such a simple data structure. Quantitative protocols may be used for highly prevalent diseases or for more intense selection for resistance to certain diseases. See the respective pest and pathogen BEEBOOK papers (De Graaf et al., 2013; De Miranda et al., 2013; Dietemann et al., 2013; Forsgren et al., 2013; Fries et al., 2013; Jensen et al., 2013).