Honey bees are apparently the Typhoid Marys of the pollinator world. A study suggests that honey bees spread two kinds of pathogens to wild bumblebees. And one of these, deformed wing virus (DWV), is killing bumblebees across the United Kingdom, perhaps contributing to the decline of the nation’s wild populations. The wide occurrence of DWV is “truly alarming,” says molecular ecologist Peter Neumann of the University of Bern, who was not involved in the study.DWV can be nasty. Like many other viruses in honey bees, DWV spreads in two ways. Worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) will transmit it orally to other workers, generally resulting in a benign infection. But the parasitic varroa mite is a carrier, too. When the mite feeds on bee pupae, infecting them with DWV, the virus causes ghastly deformities. Young bees develop with bloated abdomens and shrunken or crumpled wings, making DWV one of the worst viral diseases in commercial honey bee hives.DWV first turned up in 2004 among commercial bumblebees; the insect, Bombus terrestris, is often used in greenhouses, particularly to pollinate tomatoes. Commercial breeders initially noticed that about 10% of their bumblebee queens had died with tiny, misshapen wings. Then, Elke Genersch of the Institute for Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, Germany, and colleagues discovered that the dead bumblebees had been infected with DWV. The researchers suspected that honey bees had orally infected the bumblebees, because breeders use honey bees to encourage bumblebee queens to start new nests.No one knew the extent of DWV in wild bumblebees. Matthias Fürst and Mark Brown of Royal Holloway, University of London, in Egham and colleagues collected honey bees and bumblebees from 26 sites across Great Britain. The virus was present in 11% of the bumblebees and replicating in more than a third of those, suggesting active infections, they report in Nature. The virus is probably even more common than those data indicate, Brown noted in a telephone press conference. Bees “on their deathbed are not going to be caught by our sampling scheme,” he said.The team found genetic evidence that the virus is shared between the species: When honey bees and bumblebees lived near each other, both had a similar strain of the virus. Because DWV was more prevalent in honey bees—36% were infected—the researchers believe it spreads from them to bumblebees. The team also found the same pattern with the fungal pathogen Nosema ceranae, but it did not appear to cause problems for bumblebees.DWV, on the other hand, spelled trouble. When the researchers fed bumblebees food contaminated with the virus, symptoms of the disease emerged. (See photos of bumblebees with deformed wings, not from this study.) Worker bees became sick and died on average 6 days sooner than normal, a major reduction from the typical lifespan of 21 days. A bumblebee nest contains fewer than several hundred worker bees, so any widespread DWV infection could devastate the nest’s ability to gather enough food. Jeff Pettis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, agrees it is likely that honey bees are infecting bumblebees. “This highlights the need to better manage honey bees in a responsible manner and find ways to conserve all pollinators,” he says. Wild bumblebee populations, which help pollinate some field crops, appear to be declining in many places, so the need is urgent. There is no way to treat sick bees, so the best strategy is to keep honey bee hives as healthy as possible, in particular by controlling the varroa mites, which worsen infections in honey bees.
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSan Miguel Alab Pilipinas couldn’t be stopped as it ran roughshod over Formosa Dreamers, 117-93, for its eighth straight victory in the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League at Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Complex in Laguna.The hottest team in the league banked on its versatile imports to improve to 11-4 in the standings.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Familiarity helped Meralco’s Ballesteros in career game vs Ginebra NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Justin Brownlee was as lethal as ever, firing 27 points and scattering 13 rebounds, five assists, four blocks, and two steals to stuff the stat sheets in the rout.Renaldo Balkman also registered another double-double of 21 markers and 14 boards that went with six dimes, and five rejections, while Lawrence Domingo fired a season-high 16 points and seven rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBobby Ray Parks Jr. also shone as he helped Alab break away for good in the third quarter, where he unloaded eight of his 15 points that triggered a 19-7 tear for a decisive 79-62 lead. The reigning Local MVP also got three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.The tailspin continued for the Dreamers, who have now lost 12 games in a row and stayed at the cellar with a 1-14 slate. AFP official booed out of forum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Cameron Forte topped Formosa with 29 points and 21 rebounds, Ronnie Aguilar had 20 markers and 11 boards, and local Wu Sung Wei got 18 points and five assists off the bench.The scores:SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 117 — Brownlee 27, Balkman 21, Domingo 16, Parks 15, Hontiveros 11, Sumalinog 11, Urbiztondo 9, Raymundo 3, Alabanza 2, Javelona 2, Celiz 0.FORMOSA DREAMERS 93 — Forte 29, Aguilar 20, Wu 18, Chen 10, Chien 7, Chou 4, Barratt 3, Yang 2, Cheng 0, Li C 0, Li P 0, Tsai 0.Quarters: 28-19, 52-38, 79-66, 117-93.ADVERTISEMENT Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City
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