Bee colony collapse associated with viral, fungal infection

 

honey bee varroa mite (Varroa destructor ) on honey bee (Apis mellifera )

Photo: Stephen Ausmus

 

Texas Tech University Oct. 8, 2010, press release:

The sudden death of bee colonies since late 2006 across North America has stumped scientists. But today, researchers may have a greater understanding of the mysterious colony collapse disorder, said a Texas Tech University biologist.

Shan Bilimoria, a professor and molecular virologist, said the bees may be taking a one-two punch from both an insect virus and a fungus, which may be causing bees to die off by the billions.

Bilimoria is part of a team of researchers searching for the cause of the collapse. Led by research professor Jerry Bromenshenk from the University of Montana in Missoula, the group also includes virologists and chemists from the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and the Instituto de Ecologica AC in Mexico.

Their study was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE.

Read more here.

Update: Read more here about how this study was funded by a pesticide manufacturer.

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