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September 10, 2007

CCD Diagnosis and solution may actually be at hand

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An article published in Science on September 6 (and discussed in Technology Review) may actually be the solution to Colony Collapse Disorder, the malady that has been killing bees and which unchecked could be a major disaster for the pollination of plants, including aromatic plants. By running a genetic analysis on samples from 100 hives, they were able to identify a virus that is potentially the cause of the problem, Israeli acute paralysis virus of bees (IAPV). While the authors stressed that further research will be necessary to confirm this, they have made a good start, and the technique used shows potential as a method of identifying other toxic organisms in the future.

UPDATE: Sep.15. A post by the editor of BeeCulture on the Daily Green points out that these results have thrown the beekeeping world into a tizzy; Congress is considering banning bee importation from Australia where the virus originated but WTO rules may restrict them; the problem seems to appear here when the virus  encounters Varroa mites . . . there are lots of questions, but where are the answers?

Posted by Rob on September 10, 2007 in Ecological/Cultural Sustainability | Permalink

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