Skip to main content

Bees: Diseases

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the prevalence of deformed wing virus in the bee population in England; and what assessment he has made of the potential impact of this virus on bee productivity. (227329)

Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) is a virus associated with varroa, a parasitic mite infesting bees. Varroa is widespread in the UK and while it cannot be completely eradicated, beekeepers can keep productive bees despite its presence, providing they operate effective controls. Controlling the varroa mite vector by means of a careful programme of integrated pest management is the most effective way of controlling virus infections. DEFRA has published detailed advice for beekeepers on this.