Tracking honeybee decline

HoneybeeAn early access to article in Science A Metagenomic Survey of Microbes in Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (direct link since DOI is not updated yet) using the current favorite buzzword, metagenomics, of course, describes some early work to try and discover what is killing the honeybees. It is early access and non-free and ScienceExpress is not part of our subscription here so I’ve not actually had a chance to read it yet, but the gist of the reporting about it suggest that a virus is to blame. This is in line with what Joe DeRisi and collaborators found using their Virus chip based on some news reports earlier this year, but no scientific article yet to follow this up.

Some links to today’s SFChronicle article and an article “Stung” from the New Yorker in August that alluded to this Science article.

4 thoughts on “Tracking honeybee decline”

  1. Note – in the new study the researchers only looked at RNA isolated from bees. So they probably would have missed if any cellular organisms or DNA viruses were associated with CCD

  2. We have started working with CCD in the lab. Note that there were some sampling issues with the metagenomic survey. Also, note that they found substantial levels of a microsporidian, Nosema sp. in the affected honey bees. Many in the community feel that this fungal-like organism is responsible. However, much work remains to be done. Recent unpublished results strongly suggest that the virus is likely NOT the causal agent.

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