Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been killing bees and puzzling scientists for long, new research suggests that the probable cause of dying bee colonies points towards a virus. This poses a dangerous situation for commercial beekeepers world wide if the Colony Collapse Disorder continues to spread.
In this disorder, all adult bees disappear from the hive, leaving the honey and pollen behind. Few, if any, dead bees are found around the hive. APV, described by Israeli researchers, has symptoms of shivering wings, progressed paralysis and bees dying outside the hive appeared.
An identified Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) may be a potential cause of Colony Collapse Disorder, now scientists are trying to determine whether this virus, attacks alone or with other factors such as microbes, toxins and stressors, to induce CCD in healthy bees. If it is the virus acting alone, then remedial vaccines and drugs can be developed.
Bees play a key role in the world food supply, they are essential for pollinating more than 90 fruit and vegetable crops globally. In America, beekeepers truck their hives cross country to pollinate almond groves in California, field crops and forages in the Midwest, apples and blueberries in the Northeast and citrus in Florida.
The economic value of these bee pollinated agricultural products is placed at more than £7 billion in the United States alone. However, the unremitting advance of “Colony Collapse Disorder,” CCD, continues around the world.
Researchers including Lipkin and Diana Cox-Foster, entomology professor at Pennsylvania State University, carried on the research using innovative means, they used a rapid genome sequencing technique called pyrosequencing to catalogue the entire variety of microorganisms that honey bees harbor.
After comparing their sequences with known sequences held in public databases, they identified symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses found in both healthy and CCD-afflicted colonies. They also tested royal jelly imported from China, which is fed to bee larvae to start up a new colony, as well as apparently healthy bees imported from Australia, in an attempt to locate a source for an infectious agent. After detailed statistical comparison of all the samples, the molecular signs of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus appeared to be associated with CCD.
To get an ides of this catastrophe inflicting bees, check out this video!
Source: Biology News Net