Virus new bee suspect
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11 September 07
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|Virus becomes new suspect in bee die-off|
6 Sep 07 - Scientists have found a new prime suspect in the deaths of about a quarter of America's honeybees, a mystery that could take a multibillion-dollar toll on the nation's agricultural industry.
Months of genetic testing have fingered a virus first reported in Israel just three years ago. The correlation between Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus and the mysterious bee disease — known as Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD — was reported Thursday on the journal Science's Web site.
The economic effect of the bee disappearances goes far beyond the lost honey: the primary impact is felt through the crops that the insects pollinate — products valued at $14 billion to $20 billion annually. Since Colony Collapse Disorder first came to light last year, the malady has affected an estimated 23 percent of the nation’s beekeeping operations, with losses of up to 90 percent. Other countries are reporting mysterious bee losses as well.
The disorder is characterized by the rapid disappearance of a colony's bees, even if there are adequate stores of food in the hive. The bees just seem to fly off into oblivion — hinting that the malady somehow affects the insects’ navigational sense or learning ability.
fear that the bees navigational problems may be
See entire article by Alan Boyle, Science editor, MSNBC
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