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"Bumblebees infected by honey bee diseases"

 
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Lacewing
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 96
Location: Powys, Mid Wales

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:10 am    Post subject: "Bumblebees infected by honey bee diseases" Reply with quote

Have just read this on the BBC's website, referring to deformed wing virus and nosema c.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26242960

Note:

"Writing in the journal Nature, the team says that beekeepers should keep their honeybees as free from disease as possible to stop the spread."

and

"We have to, at national and international levels, support management policies that enable our beekeepers to keep their bees as free of diseases as possible," Prof Brown said.

"The benefits are not just to the honeybees, they are to the wild bees as well."

!!

- Although the researchers also want to investigate whether neonicotinoid pesticides are playing a role in problem.
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Typically, Dr David Aston of the BBKA is the first to jump in to tell beekeepers to use 'authorised medications' rather than raise an eyebrow against the obvious culprit - Bayer's neonicotinoids, undermining the immune response of bumblebees as well as honeybees.
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Gareth
Wise Bee


Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: UK, England, Cotswolds

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:36 pm    Post subject: Re: "Bumblebees infected by honey bee diseases" Reply with quote

Lacewing wrote:


"We have to, at national and international levels, support management policies that enable our beekeepers to keep their bees as free of diseases as possible," Prof Brown said.


And the best way to do that is to keep the bees in a low stress manner with their immune system uncompromised from toxins. That includes toxins in the environment (as Phil says above) but also toxins introduced by beekeepers.

At a recent meeting at Fera (The UK's Food and Environment Research Agency) I heard from various researchers how infection can pass from honey bees to bumble bees and also the other way round. So it's a two way street.

We also heard that bumble bees imported to pollinate glasshouse crops are not as free of disease as they are supposed to be - and, if course, some of them escape, hence spreading infection into wild populations.

It is also worth remembering that one source of infection is flowers themselves; viruses and Nosema spores happily sit on the pollen waiting for the next bee (of whatever sort) to come along.
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Lacewing
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 96
Location: Powys, Mid Wales

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've so far met beekeepers who treat, and those who don't, and those who agonise about whether they should or they shouldn't, and if so, with what, and when, etc.etc. And most seem to wonder if they're doing the right thing. What I haven't met is one who thinks they should be doing something but hasn't bothered, or one who doesn't care.

David Aston was also in a position here to show some support for beekeepers, in various ways but...! Can you imagine a spokesperson for farmers not supporting them, if they were held responsible for the spread of disease in wild animals?

To see it more or less suggested to the public that it lies within the power of beekeepers in the first place to control these diseases and their spread in other bees too, by following certain guidelines, and in the second, to have it pretty much implied that it's due to negligence or lack of care that some don't follow those guidelines, is just infuriating.
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maskerade
House Bee


Joined: 17 Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBC Inside Science had a large section on this too. You can find it on iTunes Podcasts, 20th Feb episode, ( just caught up with it today in the garden!)

They also state that we have lost ALL wild bee colonies in the UK as well as massive increases in losses of hives (around 30% off the top of my head) and implied that the beekeepers being heavily monitored.

Would love to know if people here think this is true as I was hoping to introduce myself to the world of beekeeping with a few bait hives this year Surprised

Media hype?
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Gareth
Wise Bee


Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: UK, England, Cotswolds

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maskerade wrote:

They also state that we have lost ALL wild bee colonies in the UK ....


This has been the standard line for some years. The last time I was told this I was standing within 50 yards of a wild hive and there was another 200 yards away (likely the mother of the nearer one). I have subsequently moved house, but was called last summer to collect a swarm from the hive that was 50 yards away (that had settled in the garden of my former house). It was a tiny swarm late in the season but established itself well and is currently the most heavily flying of all my colonies. It has also used very little by way of winter stores. In other words: well adapted local bees.

I live in central, southern England. Draw your own conclusions.
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maskerade
House Bee


Joined: 17 Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is very nice to hear Gareth ! Wink
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B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It was a tiny swarm late in the season but established itself well and is currently the most heavily flying of all my colonies. It has also used very little by way of winter stores. In other words: well adapted local bees.


I would really appreciate more info on this!
Gareth did you give then any assistance? did you feed them at all? was their hive well insulated over winter? what hive type?


Kim
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Gareth
Wise Bee


Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: UK, England, Cotswolds

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

B kind wrote:
Quote:
It was a tiny swarm late in the season but established itself well and is currently the most heavily flying of all my colonies. It has also used very little by way of winter stores. In other words: well adapted local bees.


I would really appreciate more info on this!
Gareth did you give then any assistance? did you feed them at all? was their hive well insulated over winter? what hive type?


Kim


This is very off the original topic but, from my notes: swarm taken mid July , after main flow had ceased and hived in a Warré. Fed (2:1 made with nettle tea and vitamin C) late July and early Aug. Filled one box going into winter. Standard Warré quilt, no extra wrapping but hive walls 28mm tick rather than standard 20mm.
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B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Gareth.

I am keen to develop an understanding of the key factors to success for small or late swarms. I shall continue on a new thread though.

As for the threat to bumblebees from honeybees. While I am sure it will be well-intentioned, in my opinion it is more likely to be used as an argument to further monitor and advise bee-keeping activities (along modern and conventional lines) rather than tackle real threats such as imported bees and modern intensive farming and bee-keeping methods.

Kim
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