bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Kashmir virus hits western Canada

Pollination in British Columbia, Canada has been hit hard by the Kashmir bee virus according to the province's government bee expert, Paul Vanwestendorp, quoted in a CBC news report.
“No bees – no fruit. That's basically what it boils down to.”

Vanwestendorp says more than $150 million of the province's agriculture could be in jeopardy.
The virus has been in BC for decades and no-one seems to know why it has suddenly turned deadly. Varroa may be a trigger. The Okanagan, the Kootenays, Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley have been badly hit, but no-one yet knows the real extent of the problem.

The news report has probably played up the severity of the problem, but it did give a great headline: “Bees dropping like flies”.

Update: yes, the problem has been overblown says later report.



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