Deformed wing virus (DWV) is one of the most widespread viral infections of European honey bee Apis mellifera L. worldwide. So far, this is the first study which tested the effect of different ratios of synthetic protein to fat (P : F) diets on the health of broodless nurseaged honey bees in the laboratory. The aim of the current study was to determine the load of DWV in the whole body of A. mellifera that were fed different ratios of P : F diets (25 : 1, 10 : 1, 5 : 1, 1 : 1, 1 : 5, 1 : 10, 1 : 12.5 and 1 : 0 as a control). The methods involved feeding bees the tested diets for 10 days and then measuring the virus titre using qPCR technique. The results showed that DWV concentration decreased as the fat content of diets consumed increased. The copy number of viral genomes declined from 7.5 × 105 in the zero-fat diet (1 : 0) to 1.6 × 102 virus genomes in 1 : 12.5 (P : F). We can conclude that there is a positive relationship between fat diets and bee immunity and overall results suggest a connection between fat diet and bee health, indicating that colony losses can be reduced by providing a certain protein and fat supplemental feeding.
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
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