Diseases Spread From Honeybees to Wild BumblebeesFebruary 19, 2014 2014-02-19 18:16
Diseases Spread From Honeybees to Wild Bumblebees
More bad news for our pollinator friends.
A new study published today in the journal Nature found that wild bees across the Americas, Europe and Asia are declining as a result of deadly diseases being contracted from commercialized honeybees. The study, which stopped short of proving direct bee-to-bee transmission, said diseases are likely spread primarily through flowers visited by infected honeybees (and also when bumblebees raid honeybee hives in search of nectar). Wild bumblebees, which grow to roughly twice the size of their honeybee cousins, pollinate a significant portion of the worlds flowers and food crops—from greenhouse tomatoes and peppers to watermelon and blueberries. The scientific research shows that that bumblebees are impacted more by disease than honeybees, since their hives usually only numbers in the hundreds, as opposed to the tens of thousands of workers typically found in honeybee colonies.
Bumblebee.org has a list of things you can do to help the beneficial insects
Bumblebee Conservation Trust, in the UK, offers tips on “Gardening for Bumblebees”
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