From yesterday’s Guardian “Scientists in Spain believe they have found the killer parasite that is responsible for wiping out bee colonies from California to Cannes. The assassin, they believe, is Nosema ceranae, an Asian parasite which has worked its way into hives across Europe and America, wreaking terrible damage on the bees’ internal organs. Read more Guardian
And CCD or no CCD, this year looks to be good for Galician honey at least. Rain and cool temperatures have led to the best honey harvest for 20 years.
Meanwhile on the iberianture forum Dr. Pedro P. Rodriguez notes in this very interesting piece that “CCD has given bee researchers a field day with huge money grants. This is also good for beekeeping because I am sure that most of them will discover remedies to the ailments that may be affecting honey bees. Some of them already have. For instance Mariano Higes, a Spanish scientist, isolated a Nosema variant that has been found in a great number of colonies seemingly affected by CCD. I live near Mr. Higes place of work and I have known him for over ten years. He is a talented and dedicated researcher who may have found another contributing factor to CCD. However, We should take into consideration that pathogens can inflict severe damage to their hosts when the host’s strength is weakened as happens when the bees are stressed. Spain had a severe drought two years ago which I am sure was responsible for a great number of honey bee colonies collapsing, and perhaps the newly discovered Nosema strain contributed to their losses but it is doubtful that it was the sole responsible factor. I keep my bee colonies in the area, Guadalajara Province, and my bees are not disappearing. I have fabulous bee populations in my colonies (See attached photograph). This statement is not meant to take credit away from my friend’s work, but to indicate that investigators must look further to other causes if we expect to arrive at a definite solution to CCD.” Read all
More about bees in Spain