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New Insights on Bee Parasites, Pathogens

Friday, May 6, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jennifer Addington
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New Insights on Bee Parasites, Pathogens

By Jill Calabro, PhD


With all the discussion about honey bee health, the implication is that a wealth of information exists about what is normal or healthy for a honey bee. Sadly, there is not. Very little information exists detailing the presence of honey bee pests in the U.S. Finally we are getting some answers. The National Honey Bee Disease Survey was initiated in 2009 to document honey bee pests and pathogens throughout the U.S. in the response to concerns over declining honey bee populations. A report summarizing the first five years of sample collection was published in April. Researchers detailed their observations on mites, fungal pathogens, and viruses. A critical component of the survey is to also analyze pesticide residues in apiaries; however, this information was not included in the recent report. Researchers at the University of Maryland and USDA lead this multiyear effort. This first summary will serve as a baseline to measure trends and patterns over time, bringing much needed information to the debate. 

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