Sunday, 18 August 2019

A common honey bee disease is spread through flowers


AUGUST 7, 2019

James Cook University scientists have discovered a common honey bee disease can be deadly to native Australian wild bees and can be transmitted by flowers—the first time this link has been made.
JCU's Associate Professor Lori Lach oversaw the study investigating the susceptibility of Australian stingless or "sugar bag" bees to Nosema ceranae—a parasite that causes European honey bees to become less active, develop an increase in appetite, and die prematurely.
"Pathogen spillover from bees kept by bee keepers to wild bee populations is increasingly considered as a possible cause of wild pollinator decline. Spillover has been frequently documented, but not much is known about the pathogen's virulence in wild bees or how long pathogens can survive on a flower," said Terence Purkiss, the honors student who conducted the study.

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