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Colony Collapse Disorder Drives Bees Away, Causing a Scare to the Fruit Industry

by Savitha C Muppala on July 31, 2008 at 7:35 PM
 Colony Collapse Disorder Drives Bees Away, Causing a Scare to the Fruit Industry

British beekeepers are concerned following the vanishing act of bees from their hives, owing to what is being called a colony collapse disorder. This is a cause of worry as bees are significant contributors to the fruit industry, valued at annual revenue of 165m.

Beekeepers need to quickly get their act together to control the onslaught of diseases, like varroa, a significant cause of CCD, which causes the bees to abandon their hives permanently. Though chemical pesticides have been employed to check the spread of varroa, yet the bees appear to have grown resistant to the pesticide.

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CCD, already infamous in the US and California has greatly affected the fruit industry and many millions are being spent by the government to check its spread.

However, a fungi growing naturally on plants and in the soil could help in rooting out varroa, according to University of Warwick's plant research group. University of Warwick researcher Dr Dave Chandler said: "The fungi occur naturally on plants and in the soil and in lab tests they have proved extremely effective in killing varroa. It won't be a magic bullet but it could be part of the solution.We examined 50 different types of fungi that afflict other insects to see if they would kill varroa. We needed to find fungi that were effective killers of varroa, had a low impact on the bees, and worked in the warm and dry conditions typically found in bee hives. Of the original 50 fungi we are now focusing on four that best match those three requirements."



Source: Medindia
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