Quantitative Nondestructive Assessment of Paenibacillus larvae in Apis mellifera Hives

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Conference Proceeding
Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 2020, 1026 pp. 579 - 583
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. Paenibacillus larvae is a Gram-positive spore forming bacterium and is the causative agent of American Foulbrood (AFB), a highly contagious infectious disease of Apis Mellifera (the European honey bee), which results in hive death and significant economic losses within the apiary industry world-wide. AFB is typically diagnosed by visual identification which is labour intensive and highly operator dependent. In the absence of a low cost, rapid and reliable industry surveillance tool targeting AFB, the disease has spread around the world. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR) is a potential AFB surveillance tool with a demonstrated high sensitivity for the detection and quantification of Paenibacillus larvae infections in Apis Mellifera hives. Current techniques result in the disturbance of the internal hive microclimate by opening and deconstructing the hive. Our research aims to develop a new, non-invasive, rtPCR technique for the detection of AFB in beehives without the need to open the hive.
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