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SUMMARY

Undisturbed honey bee colonies near Rothamsted were commonly infected with a filamentous DNA virus (FV) which was usually associated with Nosema apis in infected adult individuals and occurred most frequently about June. No symptoms were caused by FV, which appeared less harmful than either black queen-ceil virus (BQCV) or bee virus Y (BVY), two isometric RNA viruses also associated with N. apis. Bee virus X, another isometric RNA virus distantly related to BVY, was not associated with N. apis, but prevailed in winter and was then associated significantly with Malpighamoeba mellificae in dead individuals, although it frequently multiplied alone. Results of laboratory experiments supported conclusions made from the field observations about these relationships and their pathology.