Bumblebees and Honeybees: cross infection

Did anyone else see the report on BBC Breakfast this a.m. on bumble bees catching diseases from honey bees. Apparently the answer is for beekeepers to practise integrated pest management!  It reminds me of the French vine grower who is currently suffering criminal prosecution for refusing to use pesticides on his vines: http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/584586/biodynamic-winemaker-prosecuted-for-not-treating-vines-with-insecticide.  Will natural beeks be next?

Am I going mad, or is it the world around me?

yours worriedly, Ingrid

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3 Responses to Bumblebees and Honeybees: cross infection

  1. simplebees says:

    Ingrid,
    Fruit and veg farmers in UK who require pollination services are importing up to 40,000 bumblebee colonies(size of a small melon with about 300 bees) per year from a European bee factory in Czechoslovakia. These colonies are not managed and die out naturally at the end of summer.

    The factory aparatus is reckoned to be sterile and clean. To raise a million colonies per year the factory has to feed developing BB brood with pollen collected from(stolen from) foraging honeybees returning to hives. Diseased honeybees will transfer pathogens to pollen and thence to BBs.
    There are no checks carried out by DEFRA on imported BBs! Source of this information. D. Goulson author of ‘A Sting in the Tail’ and our own Nigel S.

    In my opinion, IPM on honeybees will not solve this problem. The solution is to promote wild habitat and wildflowers on farms and allow local bees to do the pollination. Stop importing artificially created BB colonies.

    John H, Hampshire

  2. Eddy Radar says:

    My understanding was that it is a virus, passed from queen to offspring and from bee to flower to bumblebee. Don’t know od a virus remedy for bees — much less the common cold, another virus that has been around a long time. Let’s hope the virus mutated off and becomes inactive for the bees . . . bad news nevertheless . . .

  3. Paul says:

    New Scientist has a slightly different take on what might be the same story –
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129573.700-honeybee-trade-is-hotbed-for-carrying-disease-into-wild.html
    Basically they say the problem is with IMPORTED honeybees.

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