Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kingdom-jumping Virus Linked to Colony Collapse in Bees

Honeybee virus

As we well know, the biological world is more complex than can be imagined, and mysteries abound.

Scientists continue to make sense of the dramatic appearance of the Colony Collapse Disorder phenomena several years back.

Back in 2010, it seemed a unique combination of fungus and virus was the culprit.  seemed to be the culprit. Then recently popular pesticides called neonicotinoids were implicated in bee deaths, leading to great controversy as to whether these pesticides should be banned, at least in the short term to help investigate their effects.

Now: reports out say yet another virus has been found to be involved.  What is novel about this one is the suggestion that it is a plant virus that has jumped to become infectious and damaging to bees.

Of course the larger question is: What is it about modern industrial agriculutural practices (the treatment of crops and system of honeybee crowding and circulation) that might give rise or exacerbate the prevalence of bee pathogens and colony collapse.  Also with considering is the general environmental stresses the bees face in their pollinating lives, such as the effect of pollution of sense of smell.


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