moldybluecheesecurds 2

Friday, April 27, 2007

Update 2: Colony Collapse Disorder a parasite?

A scientist at the University of California, San Francisco, has isolated a parasite that may be responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder. In a few preliminary tests of local hives, he found that the presence of the parasite - Nosema ceranae - was strongly linked to diseased or dead bees. This is mixed news, since the parasite is known to cause colony collapse in as little as a week, but may also be controlled by an existing antibiotic.

As with most things science, however, the tests only validate the hypothesis - they don't prove the cause. Dr. DeRisi believes more study is necessary before concluding this parasite is responsible:
The results are "highly preliminary" and are from only a few hives from Le Grand in Merced County, UCSF biochemist Joe DeRisi said. "We don't want to give anybody the impression that this thing has been solved."
Other scientists have also found the parasite in bee hives, but among several other potential pathogens. One scientist felt it was going too far to label Nosema ceranae THE cause:
N. ceranae is "one of many pathogens" in the bees, said entomologist Diana Cox-Foster of Pennsylvania State University. "By itself, it is probably not the culprit … but it may be one of the key players."
Let's hope they find the solution soon, as more than a quarter of U.S. bee colonies have already suffered collapse.

1 comment:

John Blatchford said...

I have just written a few articles about various aspects of the Honeybee crisis which you might find of interest – for example: