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Beleaguered bees hit by 'deformed wing virus' - How much more will the bees tolerate?


A wing-deforming virus shortens the lifespan of wild honeybees already contending with a startlingly long list of existential threats, researchers said Wednesday.

Spread by microscopic mites, the microbe disrupts bees' foraging and curtails their lives, experiments confirmed for the first time.

"Deformed wing virus strongly reduced the chances for workers to survive to foraging age," scientists reported in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B.

It also "reduced the life expectancy and total activity span" of infected bees, they found.

Bees around the world -- especially in Europe and North America -- have been decimated in recent years by a mysterious blight called "colony collapse disorder", in which entire populations disappear or die out.

Research has pointed an accusing finger at agricultural pesticides, viruses, fungi, parasites, malnutrition because of fewer flowers -- or some combination of the above.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/beleaguered-bees-hit-deformed-wing-virus-004645414.html

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