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Large numbers of bees are disappearing from hives.ROB TIPA/FAIRFAX NZ

Large numbers of bees are vanishing from hives.

Independent researchers have identified an innovative new parasite in bees on the Coromandel peninsula, one of several areas around brand new Zealand which have reported losing several thousand colonies of honey bees since last spring and a considerable drop in honey harvests since.

Lotmaria passim, a parasite that strikes the gut of honey bees, was only discovered by a group of United states scientists about 6 months ago.

Its confirmed presence in Coromandel hives has rung alarm bells for beekeepers which worry another major biosecurity challenge for business, difficult regarding heels associated with the varroa mite which found its way to the North Island in 2000.

Beekeeping sources verify bee losings regarding Coromandel Peninsula last springtime amounted to thousands of colonies. Reports recommend up to 95 percent of bees in each hive vanished without trace, with production losings of between 40 and 65 per cent for a lot of huge commercial beekeepers in the area.

Reports of similar bee losses have actually surfaced from the Raglan and Wairarapa regions while Canterbury hobbyists have reported extremely hefty hive losings in Christchurch city final autumn.

Dramatically, enduring colonies of bees regarding the Coromandel had high quantities of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, two recently discovered unicellular parasites that also attack the gut of honey bees.

The greater virulent Nosema ceranae was just identified in western honey bees about about ten years ago and first showed up regarding the Coromandel this year. It is often recognized as a potential reason for colony failure condition (CCD) in the United States, although experts debate that website link since it is additionally present in healthier bee colonies.

Coromandel commercial beekeeper and scientist Dr Oksana Borowik stated the disappearance of more and more bees from her hives between belated August and early December 2014 happened rapidly and ended up being damaging, with a 65 per cent lack of production.



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