Bee crisis linked to virus spread by humans

Bee crisis linked to virus spread by humans

The spread of a virus-parasite duo that kills bees is a ‘largely man-made’ disaster, a new study finds, but we might still be able to help.

Russell McLendon


Global transport of bee colonies has made it easier for pollinator diseases to spread, scientists say. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Humans and honeybees go way back, but like any long-term relationship, this dynamic can be sour as well as sweet. Sometimes our bees sting us, for example. And sometimes we accidentally trigger a vast, international collapse of bee colonies so complex it takes us years to figure out what we’re doing wrong.

That’s the case with colony collapse disorder (CCD), a strange plague that’s been obliterating honeybee colonies for at least a decade. Although we rely on bees to pollinate our food crops, a new study suggests we’ve royally screwed up this deal in recent decades — and it’ll take more than a bouquet of flowers to patch things up. Read more.