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  1. #1
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    Default CCD, Anyone see this yet?

    Interesting, I thought.

    http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsst...3163/story.htm

    Regards,
    Miles

  2. #2
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    Default etc.

    Asian Parasite Killing Western Bees - Scientist
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SPAIN: July 19, 2007

    MADRID - A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries, says a Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon for years.

    The culprit is a microscopic parasite called nosema ceranae said Mariano Higes, who leads a team of researchers at a government-funded apiculture centre in Guadalajara, the province east of Madrid that is the heartland of Spain's honey industry.
    He and his colleagues have analysed thousands of samples from stricken hives in many countries.

    "We started in 2000 with the hypothesis that it was pesticides, but soon ruled it out," he told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

    Pesticide traces were present only in a tiny proportion of samples and bee colonies were also dying in areas many miles from cultivated land, he said.

    They then ruled out the varroa mite, which is easy to see and which was not present in most of the affected hives.

    For a long time Higes and his colleagues thought a parasite called nosema apis, common in wet weather, was killing the bees.

    "We saw the spores, but the symptoms were very different and it was happening in dry weather too."

    Then he decided to sequence the parasite's DNA and discovered it was an Asian variant, nosema ceranae. Asian honeybees are less vulnerable to it, but it can kill European bees in a matter of days in laboratory conditions.

    "Nosema ceranae is far more dangerous and lives in heat and cold. A hive can become infected in two months and the whole colony can collapse in six to 18 months," said Higes, whose team has published a number of papers on the subject.

    "We've no doubt at all it's nosema ceranae and we think 50 percent of Spanish hives are infected," he said.

    Spain, with 2.3 million hives, is home to a quarter of the European Union's bees.

    His team have also identified this parasite in bees from Austria, Slovenia and other parts of Eastern Europe and assume it has invaded from Asia over a number of years.

    Now it seems to have crossed the Atlantic and is present in Canada and Argentina, he said. The Spanish researchers have not tested samples from the United States, where bees have also gone missing.

    Treatment for nosema ceranae is effective and cheap -- 1 euro (US$1.4) a hive twice a year -- but beekeepers first have to be convinced the parasite is the problem.

    Another theory points a finger at mobile phone aerials, but Higes notes bees use the angle of the sun to navigate and not electromagnetic frequencies.

    Other elements, such as drought or misapplied treatments, may play a part in lowering bees' resistance, but Higes is convinced the Asian parasite is the chief assassin.




    Story by Julia Hayley


    REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

  3. #3
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    Default

    "Nosema ceranae is far more dangerous and lives in heat and cold. A hive can become infected in two months and the whole colony can collapse in six to 18 months," said Higes, whose team has published a number of papers on the subject.
    That description does not seem to fit well with the time frame of what has been reported in the US. My understanding is that the hives in the US are collapsing in days or weeks, not months. The months-long incubation or infection period would suggest that the US beekeepers are not seeing anything out of the ordinary during the several months that the nosema is reaching lethal levels within the hive. Is that likely?
    Last edited by Barry Digman; 07-19-2007 at 03:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    coyote writes:
    That description does not seem to fit well with the time frame of what has been reported in the US. My understanding is that the hives in the US are collapsing in days or weeks, not months. The months-long incubation or infection period would suggest that the US beekeepers are not seeing anything out of the ordinary during the several months that the nosema is reaching lethal levels within the hive. Is that likely?

    tecumseh suggest:
    given that a large number of the affected hives originated in areas that experience significant drought (and are thereby likely stress) last year you might expect the time from infestation to decline to be at the short end of the estimate. secondly a slow declines may be a bit more difficult to recognize that a quick decline.

    so is this nosema caranma the same thing as nosema disease? what is the remedy that they are referring to? and is that $1.40 once a year or twice a year?

  5. #5
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    Default

    Please read my post under "Looking for Dave" I just wrote about this. I am becoming more convinced that Nosema cerane (sp?) is a major factor. I am really wondering about Nosema's ability to mutate. Perhaps it is one more stip in it's evolutionary destiny.

  6. #6
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    Default

    From the July issue of Bee Culture (page 14): "...N. cerana prevalence in the U.S. has found the parasite to be widespread and to be in samples collected as far back as 2000... recent work has concluded that N. Ceranae is not likely the cause of CCD."

    Dr. Nancy Ostiguy of Penn State spoke on the latest CCD research at the HAS conference last week. She said there have been some interesting findings - hinted at a completely new virus - but couldn't go into a lot of detail because the research paper is currently being peer-reviewed. Stay tuned....

  7. #7
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    Default Nancy also said it was a virus

    Nosema is not a virus, right? I think I remember that it's a microsporidian.

  8. #8
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    Please remain seated with your seat-belts fastened....

    Nosema ceranae is pretty much a non-issue, even though it
    may have seemed scary a few months ago.

    Let me explain. What I type below is from memory, but
    I have a pretty good one. At the USDA-ARS CCD meeting that
    was held in Beltsville MD, we got a mini-presentation on
    why Nosema ceranae was NOT a likely suspect as a proximate
    cause of CCD:

    1) It has been in the USA for years.

    2) Nearly all the Nosema we have all seen for roughly
    the past decade or so turns out to have been either:

    2a) Nosema ceranae itself

    2b) A variant/mutation of Nosema ceranae that seems to
    be much more "successful" than the original Nosema
    ceranae in infesting European Honey Bees.

    Eric Mussen offered that he is (now) very sure that he saw Nosema
    ceranae years ago, but at the time, he dismissed his own "speculation"
    at the time.

    When several sites who keep samples for long periods looked at their
    "library" samples of Nosema, they got a surprise. They found that it
    has all been Nosema ceranae for quite some time. They were hard
    pressed to find an authentic example of "traditional" Nosema apis.

    So, we are left with one or more of the following:

    a) Nosema ceranae is not the rapid and brutal killer
    of EHB it was thought to be

    b) Nosema ceranae somehow changed somewhere along the
    way from Asia to here, and became much less virulent
    a killer of EHB as a result.

    c) We are looking at a hitherto unknown variant of
    Nosema, that may LOOK like Nosema ceranae, but
    is nowhere near as deadly to EHB colonies it infests
    as Nosema ceranae was said to be.

    And the best news of all - Fumagillin stops it cold, just like it stopped
    "traditional Nosema" cold.

    Note that the appearance of the two different "paramecia"
    (ok, ok, "microsporidia" under the new classification scheme...) that one
    sees under a microscope when examining a bee midgut are very very very
    similar. Everyone missed it, or shrugged off the physical differences. It
    was only when doing fancy analysis that the difference was detected.
    (I don't remember what kind of test revealed the difference.)

    The above is what I heard at the meeting in Beltsville.

    Now, I get to comment in my own voice:

    There is an obvious, yet unanswered question.

    How did it get here?
    In live bees, of course.
    That's the best way to get a pest or disease of bees
    across an ocean or two.

    How did live bees get here from Asia, when Asia may not
    export bees to the USA or Canada? To answer that question,
    my guess would be that you may want to look at how many ships
    move between Asia and certain countries that Canada turned to
    for package bees when it closed its border to bees from the
    USA over a decade ago.

    Canada was still welcome during that time to export bees to the USA, and
    many Northern beekeepers liked the "Canadian" stock, thinking that they
    were somehow able to survive winters better (evincing a complete lack of
    understanding of the concept of "regression to the mean", and holding some
    perhaps confused beliefs reminisient of Lysenkoism).

    Naw, that couldn't be it - it had to be the bee disease
    gremlins, who travel in the wheel wells of 747s and 767s.

  9. #9
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    indypartridge,

    I just caught wind of this new virus theory today. I am really interested to learn more. Bet you 20 bucks if it is a virus, it came from Down Under. As Jim stated it takes live bees being brought in from other places to make that journey and bring something so devistating. If they do trace it back to the Aussie packages I know a couple of fellas who will be about as popular as a turd in a punch bowl.


    Jim,

    Thanks again for the enlightenment. I was beginning to wonder about Nosema b/c we have noticed that fumidil B seem to help initialy for a few weeks but then the signs of ccd return. But this could be a coincidence as we have also noticed that the bees seem to go through a roller coster on their way to death. One week the good ones look like they are turning around with good to average population and healthy brood and the bad ones you give up on, then the next week the weak ones seem to have made progress while the good ones have gone to crap.

  10. #10
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    Heck, I predicted this scenario (nasty diseases coming into the western
    hemisphere with imported bees) back in 2002, in both Bee Culture AND ABJ.
    First time both magazines ran the same article at the same time,
    just to make sure the word got out.

    Then when the inherently useless "Just Say No" posture of the American
    Beekeeping Federation hurt everyone's credibility ('cause you can't ask
    USDA-APHIS or even Congress to "just say no" to a properly ratified
    treaty like the WTO agreements), this resulted in import rules being
    approved with no inspections or controls on imports of packages of
    live bees from NZ and Australia.

    So, I explained the implications of the rules here.

    ...and guess who suddenly got into the imported package bee
    business the moment the ink was dry on the import regulations?
    Why, the same fellow who persisted in the "Just Say No" position
    even after being clearly informed that the only questions appropriate
    to WTO proceedings are "How" and "Why, in terms of biosecurity?"

    So, while I'm not worried about Nosema ceranae much, I am
    wondering where this new pathogen (virus?) might have come
    from.

    If it came from countries exporting live bees to the USofA,
    I will be just as angry and dismayed as everyone else.

    I wasn't the only one who warned of this scenario, the
    USDA-ARS went on record as having serious doubts about
    any bee import process based upon "shipper certification
    of the health of the bees".

    But I've yet to see the "proof" that whatever is thought to
    cause CCD can be clearly linked to imported bees, so all
    this remains unconfirmed rumors about a paper that has
    yet to be published.

    Let's hope the rumors are untrue.

  11. #11
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    Default thanks you very much for the enlightening update, Jim

    My bet is on the varroa mite as the vector of the new pathogen. Someone at HAS referred to varroa as an eight-legged hypodermic! Thanks again for the information. -Danno

  12. #12
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    Time will tell, but continuing on the hypothetical idea that this "virus" or whatever was indeed imported, what reprocussions do you think there will be on certain parties responsible? Major class action lawsuites or just a slap on the wrist?

  13. #13
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    I hate to keep going on about how much fun I had at HAS, but we also had the opportunity to look at Nosema Cerana. Its almond shape instead of a perfect oval. It was actually pretty easy to distinguish with a pro preparing the slide, focusing, and all that stuff.

  14. #14
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    simplyhoney adds:
    Time will tell, but continuing on the hypothetical idea that this "virus" or whatever was indeed imported, what reprocussions do you think there will be on certain parties responsible? Major class action lawsuites or just a slap on the wrist?

    tecumseh replies:
    hate to burst your bubble simplyhoney but the fact that the time line for when this little pathogen arrived in the good olde us of a (since the pathogen seems to have mutated along the way this would also suggest the route and time was extensive) is a bit unclear, it will almost be impossible to determine a list of likely suspects.

    I would suspect like many other pathogens this has been amoungst us longer than we might suspect. I would also suggest that this much like the mite problem does suggest that free trade is not necessarily free for everyone.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    simplyhoney adds:
    I would suspect like many other pathogens this has been amoungst us longer than we might suspect. I would also suggest that this much like the mite problem does suggest that free trade is not necessarily free for everyone.
    Free trade is an act of charity benefiting mega scale agriculture and international corperations at the expense of local businesses and small scale farming. Why does the US farm bill subsidize farmers making over a million a year while we continue to eat stale, un-tracable food. The commodities market is up, up, up, but the number of farms is way down.... Sorry, just my little rant.

  16. #16
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    Rant on Aspera... sounds like something I have stated a number of time myself. I recently suggested to one of my old school chums (now called doctor) that when he told he was shifting his interest that the reason was that he had actively aided in killing off his client (farmers) and now needed to look for a new host.

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