Among the many interesting pieces of information the speakers talked about at the North Central Queen Assembly was a piece on the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus or IAPV for short. Recently scientists claim to have found a significant connection between IAPV and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). It is still a great matter of debate if IAPV causes CCD, is a contributing factor, a symptom, or something else.
However, Greg Hunt of Purdue University, who does research on the genetics of bees stated that they have found that some honey bees have incorporated some of the DNA from IAPV into their own DNA. More interestingly, these bees that have part of the IAPV genes copied into their DNA seem immune to IAPV. Thus, IF IAPV causes or is a major contributor to CCD, and IF someone with the money , time and the expertise to run a real breeding program, and IF someone contributes the funding to test the DNA of bees in a breeding program with all the fancy new and expensive machines, then it would be possible to breed a line of bees resistant to CCD. And that’s assuming CCD is even a concern a year or month from now (another matter of considerable debate). And that’s an awful lot of IFs. We’ll have to wait to see how the first big IF turns out.