Bee Virus Spreading to Wild Bumblebees With Fatal Results

Friday, 21 Feb 2014 07:08 AM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The bee virus is spreading from honeybees to their wild cousin bumblebees at an alarming rate, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The study, which was conducted in the United Kingdom and followed nearly 750 bees at 26 sites, found that a major source for the bumblebee decline in recent years stemmed from "the spillover of parasites and pathogens and disease" from managed honeybee hives, the Associated Press reported.

Since 2006, honey bee populations have been falling rapidly around the world fuelled by a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. The cause of the condition remains unclear; however, scientists believe a likely cause is the Varroa destructor mite that spreads viruses while feeding on hemolymph, or bee's blood.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

"There is some reason for concern here," study coauthor Matthias Fuerst of the Royal Holloway University of London told the Agence France-Presse.

"Honeybees and bumblebees have very similar levels of those pathogens at the same site, so that means there is some connection between honeybees and bumblebees at those sites that is highly indicative of a spillover," Fuerst explained.

According to Fuerst, the same pathogen responsible for killing off honeybees when found on a bumblebee resulted in a 25 to 33 percent reduction of their typical 21-day lifespan.

Of the honeybees tested at the study's 26 sites, 88 percent were found to be infected with the pathogens, according to researchers, who warned however that the numbers could actually be significantly higher.

"We’re only catching individuals that are alive and healthy and able to go out and forage," principal author Mark J.F. Brown told the Los Angeles Times. "It’s likely that the prevalence numbers that we report are lower than they actually are."

Much like honeybees, bumblebees play a vital role in pollinizing flowers and food around the world, particularly tomatoes, according to experts.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

"Wild bees are contributing a substantial and significant fraction of the pollination services that we require," Brown added. "Honeybees are absolutely important, but so are wild bees."

Aside from the Varroa destructor mite and the virus it spreads, other possible causes for the massive bee die-offs is the use of neonicotinoid pesticides that have been shown to cause seizure-like deaths in European honeybees.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

'Tip-Bombed' Waitress Gets $1,200 Tip the Week Before Christmas

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:08 PM

A Virginia waitress was surprised and overwhelmed by a "tip bomb," a $1,200 tip from a group of people who wished to rem . . .

Kentucky Infant Found Safe After Carjacking, Amber Alert

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 16:09 PM

A 20-day-old infant who was stolen during a Kentucky carjacking was found safe a little more than two hours after the ca . . .

Justin Bieber Instagram Followers Drop by 3.5M in Fake Account Purge

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 15:46 PM

Justin Bieber lost 3.5 million Instagram followers in what's being called the "Instagram Rapture," a move by the social  . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved