The Deformed wing virus (family Iflaviridae, genus Iflavirus, DWV), one of the most prevalent and common viruses in honey bees, Apis mellifera L., is present in both laboratory-reared and wild populations of bumble bees, Bombus huntii Greene. Our studies showed that DWV infection spreads throughout the entire body of B. huntii and that the concentration of DWV is higher in workers than in males both collected in the field and reared in the laboratory, implying a possible association between the virus infection and foraging activities. Further results showed that gut tissue of B. huntii can support the replication of DWV, suggesting that B. huntii is a biological host for DWV, as are honey bees. Bumble bees and honey bees sometimes share nectar and pollen resources in the same field. The geographical proximity of two host species probably plays an important role in host range breadth of the virus.
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Vol. 104 • No. 3