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 UK bee industry abuzz with mite resistant breed 
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 UK bee industry abuzz with mite resistant breed
Lets trust that this is a positive solution as much as it is a positive story. One and only good news story for bees for a while....

UK bee industry abuzz with mite resistant breed

LONDON, Aug. 25, 2010 (Reuters) — A British beekeeper said on Wednesday he may have discovered a strain of honey bee immune to a parasite that has been gradually wiping out populations of the vital insect worldwide.

Scientists have been trying to find a way to fight the pesticide-resistant Varroa mite.

But now a retired heating engineer who has spent 18 years searching for a mite-resistant breed may have made a breakthrough.

Ron Hoskins, 79, from Swindon in southern England, says he has managed to isolate and breed a strain of bees which "groom" one another, removing the mites.

Since making his discovery, which he said happened by chance, he has been artificially inseminating queen bees in the hope they will establish themselves.

"The Varroa mite has been causing havoc with colonies in countries all over the world, apart from Australia. It has spread at an alarming rate and is very destructive," Hoskins told Reuters.

"If this problem is left unchecked it could be a disaster for the food chain waiting to happen," he added.

He said recent research had found that more than two thirds of all Britain's honeybees have been lost to the parasite. He is now looking for funding to further his research and has had an invitation from Australian officials and counterparts eager to keep the parasite at bay.

The Varroa mite has been one of the prime culprits for the bee's demise. Arriving from the Far East the parasite wormed its way through colonies in Europe, before becoming endemic in the UK in 1992.

"Ron is a very experienced beekeeper. His research is small scale, but it is promising," a spokeswoman said.

"Any research like this is welcome, remembering that one in three mouthfuls of what everybody eats is down to bee pollinations."

Good news Story for Bees


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Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:13 pm
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