Adult individuals of honey bee colonies in Britain are commonly infected with several small RNA viruses. Black queen cell virus and bee virus Y are the commonest and occur most frequently about June, together with Nosema apis with which both viruses are intimately but independently associated. Bee virus X is less common than bee virus Y and showed no pronounced seasonal fluctuations in local surveys, but was detected mostly in winter and early spring. Sacbrood virus occurred in adults of most local colonies in summer, chronic paralysis virus and cloudy wing particle occurred commonly but without seasonal variations and acute paralysis occurred commonly throughout the active season of bees but does not multiply sufficiently to cause overt disease. Slow paralysis virus was rare.