Can viruses be transmitted between different bee species?

Do we know if viruses such as deformed wing that is most commonly transmitted between honey bee colonies via varroa mite, affect other generalist-foraging native bee species such as stingless (only exist in warmer countries surrounding the equator, like Australia)? I wonder since they too forage from a similar range of floral diversity which I understand is how the viruses can jump between honeybee colonies and potentially other bee species i.e. picking it up on the same flowers they visit.

The current fight Australia is having against varroa establishing right now has obviously triggered this thought… would love to hear from and know if any meliponists (stingless beekeepers) on the forum are aware of this (or anyone else). It seems there is little research on this, but perhaps for good reason (there’s no need for concern).

Good question, Bianca. Varroa destructor is the vector for viruses, DWV being common. Bees of similar size to Honey bees have contracted DWV through Varroa, but I’m not aware of viral cross infection bee to bee in the field. This could be good news for our small natives like Tetragonula carbonaria, Varroa need bee brood to reproduce, but maybe they will still latch onto solitary bees for a ride possibly spreading a virus.
Much to learn, but let’s hope for a successful eradication.


Nice, interesting. Yes, I agree!

Thank you.

At this stage things look safe for the locals

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A high-time for farmers to consider more about integrated pest management practices and conserving/planting more bee-friendly forage. Cue Bee Friendly Farming