Alger finds bees kept for honey are killing wild species by spreading disease
Beekeepers could be fuelling the worrying decline of wild bees, new research suggests.
Wild bumblebees can contract diseases from domestic honeybees if they share the same flowers, according to new US research which suggests domestic beehives should be kept out of areas home to particularly vulnerable pollinators.
Land degradation and the proliferation of pesticides on crops is already known have a catastrophic effect on global bee populations, but the spread of disease from commercial beehives could be the third key driver of decline.
“Many wild pollinators are in trouble and this finding could help us protect bumblebees,” said lead researcher Samantha Alger, a scientist at the University of Vermont.