I first blogged about the devastating news of the honey bee die off last May and there's now consensus among Penn State scientists as to what has caused it. See original post here.
The Heartland Institute Reports (to be released March 1, 2008):
"[A] team of scientists ... reported the search for the cause of CCD may be over. They have linked Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus to the vast majority of destroyed hives."
The IAPV is carried by the varroa mite, which may have come with bee colonies imported from Australia.
Now that they know where it has originated, their next step is to find out how to infect a bee with it and ultimately how to cure it or keep it from happening in the first place.
The article also states that some environmentalists pointed the finger at pesticides for the colony depletion.
"Environmental activists have recently claimed that the mysterious decline in honeybee populations was due to pesticides," said Dennis Avery, director of the Center for Global Food Issues and senior fellow of the Hudson Institute. "
I'm sure that pesticides aren't good for the honey bees either, but it wasn't the reason for the dramatic decline in the honey bee population.
But what's the reason they became infected with a virus?
Where did this virus come from and why do honey bees carry it?
Those are questions I guess I'll have to wait to hear the answers on at the next American Beekeeping Federation's National Beekeeping Conference.....
See the full article from the Heartland Institute here.