Several viruses associated with managed honeybees may pose a widespread risk to bumblebees in the wild, according to latest research.
It identified five viruses from both wild bumblebees and managed honeybees at 26 sites across Great Britain. Previously research had only identified one pathogen, deformed wing virus, as having passed from honeybees to bumblebees, said Professor Robert Paxton of Queen’s University Belfast.
“We now find that other viruses may be doing the same. Yet our new findings also highlight just how little we know of bee parasites and the role they play in the decline of pollinators.”
Professor Mark Brown of Royal Holloway, University of London, added: “It is imperative that we take the next step and identify how these viruses are transmitted among honeybees and wild bees so that we can manage both to reduce disease risk.”