Entirely predictable, that a microbial 'pathogen' would be found to be the
Any animal/plant that is poisoned will have 'pathogens', like a dead cow has
buzzards. It doesn't mean then that the cow was killed by buzzards.
This will lead to irradiated honey, irradiated beehives, etc. It is a
political/economic move to centralize control over independent farmers.
Parallels: see epidemics with avoided/omitted toxicology:
www.geocities.com/noxot (west nile)
Experts may have found what's bugging the bees
A fungus that hit hives in Europe and Asia may be partly to blame for wiping
out colonies across the U.S.
By Jia-Rui Chong and Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writers
April 26, 2007
- Flight of the honeybees
A fungus that caused widespread loss of bee colonies in Europe and Asia may
be playing a crucial role in the mysterious phenomenon known as Colony
Collapse Disorder that is wiping out bees across the United States, UC San
Francisco researchers said Wednesday.
Researchers have been struggling for months to explain the disorder, and the
new findings provide the first solid evidence pointing to a potential cause.
But the results are "highly preliminary" and are from only a few hives from
Le Grand in Merced County, UCSF biochemist Joe DeRisi said. "We don't want
to give anybody the impression that this thing has been solved."
Other researchers said Wednesday that they too had found the fungus, a
single-celled parasite called Nosema ceranae, in affected hives from around
the country — as well as in some hives where bees had survived. Those
researchers have also found two other fungi and half a dozen viruses in the
N. ceranae is "one of many pathogens" in the bees, said entomologist Diana
Cox-Foster of Pennsylvania State University. "By itself, it is probably not
the culprit … but it may be one of the key players."
Cox-Foster was one of the organizers of a meeting in Washington, D.C., on
Monday and Tuesday where about 60 bee researchers gathered to discuss Colony
"We still haven't ruled out other factors, such as pesticides or inadequate
food resources following a drought," she said. "There are lots of stresses
that these bees are experiencing," and it may be a combination of factors
that is responsible.
Historically, bee losses are not unusual. Weather, pesticide exposures and
infestations by pests, such as the Varroa mite, have wiped out significant
numbers of colonies in the past, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s.
But the current loss appears unprecedented. Beekeepers in 28 states, Canada
and Britain have reported large losses. About a quarter of the estimated 2.4
million commercial colonies across the United States have been lost since
fall, said Jerry Hayes of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services in Gainesville.
"These are remarkable and dramatic losses," said Hayes, who is also
president of the Apiary Inspectors of America.
Besides producing honey, commercial beehives are used to pollinate a third
of the country's agricultural crops, including apples, peaches, pears,
nectarines, cherries, strawberries and pumpkins. Ninety percent of
California's almond crop is dependent on bees, and a loss of commercial
hives could be devastating.
"For the most part, they just disappeared," said Florida beekeeper Dave
Hackenberg, who was among the first to note the losses. "The boxes were full
of honey. That was the mysterious thing. Usually other bees will rob those
hives out. But nothing had happened."
Researchers now think the foraging bees are too weak to return to their hives.
DeRisi and UCSF's Don Ganem, who normally look for the causes of human
diseases, were brought into the bee search by virologist Evan W. Skowronski
of the U.S. Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland.
Dr. Charles Wick of the center had used a new system of genetic analysis to
identify pathogens in ground-up bee samples from California. He found
several viruses, including members of a recently identified genus called
It is not known whether these small, RNA-containing viruses, which infect
the Varroa mite, are pathogenic to bees.
Skowronski forwarded the samples to DeRisi, who also found evidence of the
viruses, along with genetic material from N. ceranae.
"There was a lot of stuff from Nosema, about 25% of the total," Skowronski
said. "That meant there was more than there was bee RNA. That leads me to
believe that the bee died from that particular pathogen."
If N. ceranae does play a role in Colony Collapse Disorder, there may be
some hope for beekeepers.
A closely related parasite called Nosema apis, which also affects bees, can
be controlled by the antibiotic fumagillin, and there is some evidence that
it will work on N. ceranae as well.
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