Honey bees have a genetic mutation that could lead to the development of a deadly virus that could kill them, scientists said Tuesday.
Honey bees are the world’s biggest pollinators, but their population has been steadily declining since the 1970s, with the loss of habitat and a shift away from hives to larger farms and farms with larger crops.
The virus could be a direct result of a lack of natural enemies to fight the pests, which include the European honey bee.
The bee-killing virus was first identified in the mid-1970s and was named the Aedes aegypti, which translates as “black-footed bee.”
Its cousin, Aedes albopictus, also causes honey bee deaths, but the two are thought to have evolved independently.
The virus can cause severe respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath and fever, and death in up to 10 percent of cases.
However, there is no proven link between honey bee and human infections, and experts say that the virus is most likely the result of human contact with infected bees, and that the majority of infections are from people eating wildflower pollen or other wildflowers that may have been collected by honey bees.
“There are a number of people who have been infected, but this is the first time that we have found a virus associated with honey bees,” said Dr. William S. Gebhard, a senior research associate at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, Maryland.
“The key point is that it is an airborne transmission,” he said.
Hives are an important source of pollen and other pollination materials, but they are also an important component of the ecosystem, which provides nutrients for many insects.
“If you’re a beekeeper, if you care about bees, then you want to have your bees on your property,” said Peter F. Beattie, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis.
“We’re doing everything we can to keep bees on our property,” he added.
Beekeepers in the U.S. are working to mitigate the effects of the virus on their colonies.
They are required to wear masks and have bee traps on site, and some beekeepers have begun to quarantine their bees in a manner similar to the way that some people quarantine their pets after an exposure to rabies.
Beekeeping advocates and scientists are urging beekeepers to take measures to reduce the number of honey bees on their property.
“It’s time to stop eating wildflower pollen,” said Mark M. Fagan, a bee expert at the NIAID.
“If we can make a beekeeping operation that reduces the amount of wildflorant pollen, and if we can prevent other beekeepers from being infected with this virus, then we’re doing a pretty good job.”
Beekeepers have until March 15 to decide whether to comply with the quarantine.
Focal points for beekeepers are the use of pesticides, and the fact that the wildflors have been harvested from other areas of the U; state and the U.; and international.
The United States and European Union have been developing voluntary rules for beekeeping, and U.K. officials have said they will set rules for honey bees in coming weeks.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also has issued a call for a global effort to curb the spread of the disease.
The European Union and other European countries are trying to find ways to curb bee populations and use genetically modified (GM) crops to combat the virus.
The European Union’s Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is also trying to develop a virus vaccine.
But there are still no vaccines for the A. ae.gypti virus.
“People are not going to be able to get the vaccine,” said David Schmahmann, an ecologist with the Uppsala University in Sweden.
“It would be quite expensive.”
“There is no way we can have a vaccine against it,” he told MedNanews.
Schmahman and other scientists have long argued that the honey bee virus is unlikely to cause a global pandemic because it does not cause the same effects as the other common viruses that have caused such problems in humans.
However, it’s unclear how widespread the virus might be and how the A-e.
egypti could be transmitted, which could lead scientists to look for ways to reduce its spread.
Researchers also are looking at other viruses that are already known to cause fatal human infections and other diseases.
The most common are the coronavirus and the human immunodeficiency virus.
The A. albipictus virus, which causes an infection called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, is more difficult to study because it has not been found in humans, but there have been reports of people contracting it from infected bees.
Harm reduction efforts, such as planting disease