bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

TaqMan virus survey

A survey of honeybee viruses is underway in the British Isles. The National Bee Unit (NBU) last month started its TaqMan survey with two main aims:
to use the technology to see if it is a valid method for virus detection. It has worked on pure viruses and on virus-infected bees, but we would like more data from real samples. The second aim is to try to determine which viruses are present in the British Isles. Initially, we will be looking for a small number of viruses, but eventually we would like to extend the technology to cover the whole range of honeybee viruses.
Participants are provided with a small plastic bottle containing a small volume of 70% alcohol. They scoop between 10-20 bees into the bottle, fill in a short form and send it to the NBU. Needless to say, I'll be signing up.


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