Honey Bees face numerous threats from human activities and would require urgent corrective action to ensure their long-term survival. Bees across the globe are being afflicted by a deadly virus, and a recent study has indicted human activities for the spread of the deadly virus.
The disease is known as Deformed Wing Virus, and it is destroying beehives around the world. Researchers affiliated with University of California, Berkeley and the University of Exeter has found that the European honeybee Apis mellifera is the source of the devastating bee disease.
Researchers have found that Apis mellifera is not dangerous to the bee population. The virus is spread by the Varroa mite which becomes the disease-carriers. The mite eats up the larvae, and the also spreads the Deformed Wing Virus. The result is a wipeout of millions of honey bee population in the past decades.
If Varroa transmission happened naturally, it would be spread gradually in countries which are geographically close. However, the presence of the virus in far-flung locations like New Zealand and Cuba hints that the trans-national shipping of non-native bee colonies has quickened the effects of colony collapse on a global scale. Both Bees and Queen Bees are extensively traded to improve stock quality or to start new colonies.
Lena Bayer-Wilfert, the lead author of the study, said that the whole colony has been shifted which is a great thing, but it has also led to rapid spread of Varroa.
Falling bee population will deal a catastrophic blow to the ecology, and it could have severe economic consequences. A colony collapse has a debilitating effect on the plant population around it since they depend entirely on honey bees to produce fruits. Honeybees are the primary pollinators of most human food crops, and the global food production could face a dramatic collapse.