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News Link • Homeland Security

The Case of the Mass Honeybee Killer Has a New Prime Suspect


Over the last four years, 20 to 40 percent of the honeybee colonies in the U.S. have mysteriously collapsed. The killer has remained unknown--until now. A team of entomologists, along with military scientists from the Department of Homeland Security, have a new prime suspect (or rather, suspects), as shown in a new report on the science website PLoS One. A tag-team of a virus and a fungus show every sign of being the culprit. Now it's just a matter of eradicating that dastardly partnership.

Entomologists from the University of Montana have teamed up with military scientists from the Department of Homeland Security--an unexpected liaison, for sure--began following the clues of the mass deaths of the honeybees. The honeybee die-off is peculiar, and the circumstances of the illness that collapses colonies makes it particularly difficult to analyze. Before the bees die, they fly away from the hive in all directions, which hampers efforts to collect large numbers of bees for analysis.

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