In the United States, a mysterious disease seems to have struck the honeybee population across the country killing thousand of them. At least twenty two states have been affected by this weird ailment. This has adversely affected the commercial bee keepers and honey production.
Bee keepers have reported a loss of at least half of their bee population. Sometime back, a parasite called varroa mite had devastated many beehives and their populations in US. Though such incidences are common occurrences, the current one seems to top it all.
Researchers from Penn State, the University of Montana and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are currently involved in trying to solve this bizarre ailment of the bees. Some of the observations made by them are
1. The bees have flown away from their hive before dying and their bodies are not found around the hive or outside.
2. The bee colony appears normal from outside but a few adult bees are taking care of the younger one.
3. In the infected colonies, the weekend bee colony is not being touched by bees from other colonies.
According to Diana Cox-Foster, a Penn State entomology professor, foreign fungi, bacteria and other organisms were found in an increasing number in the body of the dissected infected bees resulting in a week immune system. Scientists are also looking at a pesticide angle to this problem.