Posted on October 3, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A new study shows how bee keepers might be able to protect their apiaries against colony collapse disorder
New research might help recover honeybee populations. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With a little bit of housekeeping, honeybees may be able to fend off the worst effects of a parasitic mite believed to a major factor in the recent spread of colony collapse disorder.
The blood-sucking mites weaken larval and adult bees, leaving them with a reduced ability to fight off infections, which is a problem because bees don’t have strong immune systems to begin with.
New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Genome Biology finds that specific proteins, released by damaged larvae and in the antennae of adult honey bees, can drive hygienic behavior of the adults and promote the removal of infected larvae from the hive. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Uncategorized | Tagged: Beekeeping, Colony collapse disorder, honey bees, University of British Columbia, Varroa destructor, Varroa mites | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 11, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Hawaiian research serves as case study for watching evolution and spread of virus
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with recent studies showing that exposure to pesticides is affecting honeybee colonies, a new study suggests that an emerging virus, transmitted by parasitic mites, is another key factor in death of millions of bee colonies.
Researchers in Hawaii and the UK said they’ve pinpointed the Varroa mite as causing the “Deformed Wing Virus” to proliferate in honey bee colonies, probably contributing the worldwide loss of honeybee colonies. The current monetary value of honey bees as commercial pollinators in the United States alone is estimated at about $15-$20 billion annually.
The study shows how mites spread the virus to colonies by directly transmitting it to the bees, thereby bypassing some of the insects’ natural defenses. This change was accompanied by a million-fold increase in the number of virus particles infecting each honey bee and a massive reduction in viral strain diversity leading to the emergence of a single virulent strain. (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, Colony collapse disorder, Deformed Wing Virus, Environment, honeybees, Varroa, Varroa destructor | Leave a Comment »