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Summary

Honey is one of the most important agricultural products for export in Argentina. In fact, more than 3.5 million beehives and 50 000 beekeepers are related with this production, mainly located in Buenos Aires province. Honeybee mortality is a serious problem that beekeepers in Argentina have had to face during the last 3 years. It is known that the consequence of the complex interactions between environmental and beekeeping parameters added to the effect of different disease agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasitic mites may result in a sudden collapse of the colony. In addition, multiple viral infections are frequently detected concomitantly in bee colonies. We describe here the preliminary results of a survey of three honeybee-pathogenic viruses, acute bee paralysis viruses (ABPV), chronic bee paralysis viruses (CBPV) and Sacbrood viruses (SBV) detected during a screening of 61 apiaries located in the main honey producer province using a RT-PCR assay. This is the first molecular report of the presence of these viruses in Argentine apiaries.