Three pieces of bee news

Published May 2, 2020

 A virus in Britain

There’s a new viral disease killing bees and hives in the UK: chronic bee paralysis. Once infected, most bees die within a week, and it usually spreads throughout the colony. The disease has spread exponentially since 2007 — and right now there’s no treatment, just data.

 Native bees like fire

The decline of bees in the U.S. and around the world is well known. Here in the U.S., we’ve been relying on imported bees for quite a while, but they’re the ones in decline. It may be better to focus on restoring native been instead … by lighting fires. University of California researchers point out that it’s not good to rely on a single species of pollinator in the first place. And, they learned, native bees do well after fires, when they are able to find more and different flower species to visit.
“Smokey the Bear was wrong. We actually don’t need to prevent forest fires when they are not endangering people.”

 A matter of time

Varroa mites have been killing colonies since the 1950s, but now a new mite, Tropilaelaps, has appeared in the Philippines — and eventually it will come here as well.