Take two pills and buzz me in the morning

Good news for honeybee apiaries. Colony Collapse Disorder, the multi-billion dollar plague of honeybee farms and a threat to ecological well-being may be a thing of the past thanks to new discoveries by researchers out of Spain. It seems a bug has been bugging the bees in the form of a microsporidia parasite called Nosema ceranae.

Dr. Mariano Higes and his team ruled out popular suspicions of pesticides and the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus as possible causes of the disorder,instead determining bees from the two apiaries were dying solely from infections by the pesky parasite. Subsequently, all colonies treated with the antibiotic, flumagillin, completely recovered. This marks a pretty significant breakthrough in an ecological mystery that has spanned the globe and threatened the agricultural industry.

“Now that we know one strain of parasite that could be responsible, we can look for signs of infection and treat any infected colonies before the infection spreads” said Dr Higes, principle researcher, in a press release.

The complete study can be reviewed in the journal Environmental Microbiology Reports, a new publication from the Society for Applied Microbiology.

Click the following links for a few interesting articles about Colony Collapse Disorder (Silence of the Bees, hcn.org) as well as some past research on the Nosema ceranae parasite.

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