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Study suggests commercial bumble bee industry amplified a fungal pathogen

Scientists hoping to explain widespread declines in wild bumble bee populations have conducted the first long-term genetic study of Nosema bombi, a key fungal pathogen of honey bees and bumble bees.

Their study, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that N. bombi was present in the U.S. as early as 1980, well before several species of wild bumble bees started to go missing across the country. The study also found that N. bombi infections in large-scale commercial bumble bee pollination operations coincided with infections and declines in wild bumble bees.

Read the full article at the Illinois News Bureau


Publication Date: 04/05/2016
Photo credits: L. Brian Stauffer
Editor: Diana Yates