Move over, murder hornets. There’s a new bee killer in town.
CU Boulder researchers have found there is growing evidence that another “pandemic,” as they call it, has been infecting bees around the world for the past two decades and is spreading: a fungal pathogen known as Nosema.
Yet while it’s been documented across Europe, Canada and even in Kenya, this infection has almost exclusively been recorded in the European honeybee, the recognizable commercial pollinator. Their findings, published in PLOS Pathogens, reveal that almost nothing is known about the impact of this pathogen on native, solitary bees, which make up the majority of the approximately 20,000 bee species on the planet.
“More work needs to be done to understand Nosema infections in native bee species and the potential consequences to native ecosystems, if native bees suffer a similar fate as honeybees when infected,” said Arthur Grupe II, lead author and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
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