Army scientists and bee experts who teamed up to figure out why so many bees are mysteriously dying announced a big breakthrough this week. They believe a fungus and virus working together may be responsible for colony collapse disorder, which is a major threat to both bees and the crops that rely on them for pollination.
According to a New York Times story, the breakthrough came when the Army used a software system designed to help identify threatening biological agents to try to figure out what’s killing so many bees. The team of Army and academic researchers were able to show that the virus-fungus combo was found in every collapsed colony they studied.
Their results aren’t the final word, though. The scientists are still trying to figure out if the fungus or the virus gets there first and what can be done to prevent infections in the future. But it’s a big step for farmers and eaters around the world who need bees to keep our fruits and vegetables growing.
Learn more about colony collapse disorder in Heifer’s World Ark magazine.