Wild honey bees: Does their disappearance matter?

July 16, 2014

From: BBC/Nature Features

 By Zoe Gough Reporter, BBC Nature

New research suggests there may be no wild honey bees living in England or Wales, but how much does their disappearance matter?


Varroa mites (Varroa destructor) entered the country in 1992, and are considered to be the most destructive parasite in honey bees and a major cause of winter colony loss.

Dr Thompson found that the feral and non-treated managed colonies had a significantly higher level of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), which is transmitted to bees by the varroa mite, than the managed colonies that were treated.

By returning to the feral sites every spring and autumn for the next three years she found those colonies with high levels of disease were unlikely to survive.

The results of Dr Thompson’s pathogen burden study are due to be published in the journal PLoS One.

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