New fungus identified in CCD

UCSF researchers are claiming preliminary data pointing to a single-celled fungus, Nosema ceranae as the case of CCD. (Go UC!!!)

This is hopeful news, if disheartening, because killing fungus is notoriously tricky. Bee parasites have already built up resistance to the previously effective insecticides and fungicides. I suspect that this one may already be resistant, as its already been exposed to the antibiotic fumagillin (mentioned in the article as a potential cure, but already used in hives to treat N. apis infections).

I worry that this will become the next varroa. When varroa became immune to all of our pesticides, it started wiping out colonies and was the first identified culprit of CCD. When varroa became manageable by other means, a new parasite swoops in. When we take care of N. ceranae what's next? Managing a genetically homogeneous species is not an easy feat.

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2 Comments:

At 4/27/07, 4:34 PM, Blogger Les said...

is there a way to increase genetic diversity? I remember we were all supposed to be scared if killer bees. Now it seems like some inter breeding might be useful.

 
At 4/27/07, 6:23 PM, Blogger Crinis said...

Killer bees, or Apis mellifera scutellata, are actually the preferred honeybees of many farmers in South and Central America. I haven't heard if they are experiencing CCD, too. I've only know of CCD reports out of Canada, USA, Germany, France, and parts of Eastern Europe.

Bees, even the Africanized one, are mostly harmless. They're strictly vegan and only sting when they have something to defend. We shouldn't be afraid of A. m. scutellata or A. m. ligustica (the European honeybee).

 

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