Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ants may Harbor Virus that Threatens Honey Bees

Researchers in New Zealand, Argentina and Australia conducted a study showing that a previously unknown virus--one which may have caused massive honey bee deaths in New carried by ants. The virus causes "deformed Wing," which is correlated with hive collapse. Original Article This finding comes as honey bee populations have experienced a significant decline. Speculations have risen about certain, specific pesticides to other factors. However, the primary causal factor continues to allude science. Much more will need investigated and uncovered for us to stave the collapse of bee populations in the U.S. and certain other regions on the planet. Some researchers point to the fact that our modern, large-scale agriculturally-driven practice of raising massive amounts of honey bees--apis sp.--is basically set us up for failure. Our many crop systems, including everything from alfalfa to berry and orchard crops now rely on a mono-culture of pollinators--the "European" and "Caucasian" honey bees (two strains of one species.) Healthy, and natural pollinator systems rely and a wide range of various bees, some wasps, beetles, butterflies, and even flies. Such a system would required us to move from mono crop cultures as well, but specifically would favor green belts of bushes and trees near crops to supply the naturally occurring range of pollinating insects. Originally from NPR, and can be heard here.

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