Three pieces of bee news

Published May 2, 2020

 A virus in Britain

There’s a new viral dis­ease killing bees and hives in the UK: chron­ic bee paral­y­sis. Once infect­ed, most bees die with­in a week, and it usu­al­ly spreads through­out the colony. The dis­ease has spread expo­nen­tial­ly since 2007 — and right now there’s no treat­ment, just data.

 Native bees like fire

The decline of bees in the U.S. and around the world is well known. Here in the U.S., we’ve been rely­ing on import­ed bees for quite a while, but they’re the ones in decline. It may be bet­ter to focus on restor­ing native been instead … by light­ing fires.

University of California researchers point out that it’s not good to rely on a sin­gle species of pol­li­na­tor in the first place. And, they learned, native bees do well after fires, when they are able to find more and dif­fer­ent flower species to visit.

“Smokey the Bear was wrong. We actu­al­ly don’t need to pre­vent for­est fires when they are not endan­ger­ing people.”

 A matter of time

Varroa mites have been killing colonies since the 1950s, but now a new mite, Tropilaelaps, has appeared in the Philippines — and even­tu­al­ly it will come here as well.

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