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Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

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  • #31
    Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

    Cause of Colony Collapse Disorder Identified?Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about viruses, proteins, malfunctioning ribosomes and Colony Collapse Disorder.

    Scientists at the University of Illinois and the USDA, using information gleaned from the newly completed honey bee genome and a tool to arise from that information call a microarray (think of this as a massive screening of a tiny bit of honey bee tissue testing for hundreds, probably more, maladies, all at the same time from the same tissue sample), have found that honey bees from colonies suffering from symptoms of Colony Collapse Disorder have had the cellular structures in their bodies that manufacture the proteins necessary to combat stresses, pesticides, nutrition problems and more, compromised by viruses. These viruses, and there are many, one of which is the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus looked at earlier, essentially capture the ribosome function of cells and hijack their capability to produce the components necessary to combat these problems, and force them to produce only more virus proteins.

    Moreover, varroa mites are carriers of these kinds of viruses. Therefore, high varroa populations should enhance the probability that CCD symptoms will show up in a colony. And, mostly that''s true.

    Do you see why it all makes sense now? Stressed colonies that have been overtaken by these viruses are not able to combat any of the legion of problems assailing a colony because the virus has a death grip on their protein-producing capability. Colonies collapsed because they couldn't fight the good fight and crashed. It's no wonder bees just don't seem to be the same any more. They aren't.

    This discovery came from the University of Illinois, led by Reed Johnson, a Doctoral student there, working with May Berenbaum, entomology Professor and the Department Chair, and Gene Robinson, neuroscience professor at U of I and co-principal investigator. These were the folks who were in the thick of things investigating and finishing the honey bee genome study just recently completed. Reed received the prestigious Eastern Apicultural Society Student Award this summer at our meeting.

    So now what? Now scientists can look at the molecular structure of a colony, perhaps a single bee, maybe even a queen or the drones she mates with, and tell you if they have, or their off spring will have this propensity to be susceptible to a picorna-like virus that causes this, or perhaps allows this to occur.

    That information in itself is valuable. But still, how do you get a honey bee to eat when its ribosomes are compromised? Stay tuned for chapter two ....

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/environ...order-88082504
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    • #32
      Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

      New Clues in the Mass Death of Bees

      By Bryan Walsh(Read "Why We Should Care About Dying Bees.")

      A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that the causes of CCD may be more varied than scientists expect. The bees may be dying not from a single toxin or disease but rather from an assault directed by a collection of pathogens. A research team led by entomologist May Berenbaum at the University of Illinois compared the whole genome of honeybees that came from hives that had suffered from CCD with hives that were healthy. The sick bees exhibited genetic damage that could account for the die-off, and that damage indicated that they might be afflicted with multiple viruses simultaneously. This could weaken them enough to trigger CCD. "It's like a perfect storm," says Berenbaum.

      The PNAS(See TIME's video "Bees Without Borders.")

      Berenbaum is quick to point out that the microarray analysis is only correlative, meaning that while it can show evidence that certain viruses are present in CCD-afflicted bees, it doesn't reveal exactly what role the viruses play, nor how best to battle them. One approach might be to control infestations by varroa mites, which carry multiple viruses into the hives they attack. The good news is that the disorder may be on the wane, with the Apiary Inspectors of America reporting that deaths from CCD are below 30% for the first time since the crisis began. "The phenomenon seems to be in decline," says Berenbaum. "The most vulnerable populations might have already crashed." American farmers should be thankful; just think of trying to pollinate all those crops by hand.

      http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...l?iid=tsmodule
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      • #33
        Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

        Scientists discover virus that could explain drop in bee population

        August 25, 2009
        Mark Henderson, Science Editor

        A mysterious disease that has reduced honeybee populations in Europe and the United States could be caused in part by a virus, according to research.

        Scientists have discovered a characteristic pattern of cell damage in bees affected by colony collapse disorder (CCD), which suggests that a virus contributes to a condition that killed off more than a third of American honeybees in 2007-08.

        CCD, in which worker bees suddenly disappear from their hive, was first reported in the US in 2006, and has since affected at least 24 states and parts of Canada. There have also been cases in continental Europe, and a few cases have been suspected in Britain though not confirmed.

        The cause of the syndrome remains unknown. Potential triggers that have been advanced have included viruses, mites, fungal infections, pesticides, nutrient deficiencies and even mobile phone signals.

        The research, by a team at the University of Illinois and the US Department of Agriculture, has indicated that a group of viruses called the picorna-like viruses are likely to be involved, though they may not be the only cause.

        In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6808427.ece
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