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Thread: Nosema in bumble bees

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    Default Nosema in bumble bees

    Bumblebees hit by honeybee diseases http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26242960

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    Very interesting. Just how are we supposed to keep the honeybees free of disease to protect the bumblebee. Nosema is rife everywhere.

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Too late for Nosema ceranae but we could try to stop globalising every honeybee disease under the sun.

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    Ha. You need a government wi baws to see that happen. Their too busy stealin cash fae folks oan benefits with empty rooms. Priorities !!!

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevboab View Post
    Ha. You need a government wi baws to see that happen. Their too busy stealin cash fae folks oan benefits with empty rooms. Priorities !!!
    Kev, we currently have two governments. One steals cash from folk with spare rooms from its base in the SE, and the other takes the lead on animal health including bees from Edinburgh. There's no chance that the one (mostly) responsible for animal health is going to grow baws as you say unless it starts getting a consistent message from Scotland's beekeepers that we are very concerned about the effects of historic and continuing importation of bee stocks from various places overseas. It even subsidises that activity with hardly a peep from our national organisation. If it does get a consistent and strong message then maybe something will happen. But as a community can we do it?

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevboab View Post
    Very interesting. Just how are we supposed to keep the honeybees free of disease to protect the bumblebee. Nosema is rife everywhere.
    Strangely the paper shows Nosema ceranae in Scotland more in the NW than the east, and Dwarf Wing Virus, the universal marker of Varroa infection, with a remarkably patchy distribution and only a 30-odd% prevalence. Anybody else think this is odd? Yet they then tried to correlate this with apparent disease in captured bumble bees. Maybe I should read it properly, but it doesn't completely add up, despite the prestigious journal publishing it.

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    If it does get a consistent and strong message then maybe something will happen. But as a community can we do it?

    To cut down on imports, beekeepers need a supply of queens/bees in place before that would ever happen. Operations in other parts of the world have no trouble breeding bees, so much so they have a surplus to supply the uk as well at very reasonable prices.

    Until that happens nothing will ever change.

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    I dont see how dwv would jump hosts, very little opportunity as far as I can see as honeybees and bumbles dont really interact or mingle that much. Far more likely, in my opinion, would be that bumbles imported for pollination would spread tgheir pathogens to the local populations.
    As far as border controls are concerned, UK's policy seems to be what might be termed "pragmatic", in that such vast amounts of assorted goods, plants and creatures cross our borders daily, it is accepted that little can be done to stop things coming in, and instead of any meaningful investment in proper bio security at borders, we have piecemeal contingency plans to "firefight" new incursions as they occur, just so the politicians can pretend that they give a shit.
    With regard to licensed importation of livestock such as bees, Gavin is spot on with the need to provide the policy makers with a clear message to follow, this doesnt often happen. The answer has to be education, not only of the politicians, but also, and more importantly, the media, make something newsworthy and it soon shoots up the politicians priority list !

  9. #9

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    Imported bumble bees might have less contact than we suppose with wild bees because they are employed in poly tunnels ?
    When Sladen was trying to get his captive bumble bee queens to start laying he gave them some honey bee workers in the nest
    Although research into bumble bee breeding began here I think it's mostly done elsewhere now hence the imported colonies
    I don't know if honey bees are still used as part of the system of producing the bumble bee colonies
    Sladen used to collect the overwintering queens from the wild and give them a nest plus some worker honeybees
    Think I posted something on his book/pamphlet a while back

    Here's how to make a nest for them
    The old mouse nest might come from one of your beehives without a mouse guard
    http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to...-nest/167.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    Strangely the paper shows Nosema ceranae in Scotland more in the NW than the east, and Dwarf Wing Virus, the universal marker of Varroa infection, with a remarkably patchy distribution and only a 30-odd% prevalence. Anybody else think this is odd? Yet they then tried to correlate this with apparent disease in captured bumble bees. Maybe I should read it properly, but it doesn't completely add up, despite the prestigious journal publishing it.
    Something odd right enough about this study. 30% is very low 'prevalence'. They did find replicating virus though. Hmmmm.

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