Bee Virus Could Wipe Out Mankind, Warn Scientists
Not exactly where you thought the blight of mankind was coming from, however it does have an interesting impact upon agriculture
A VIRUS which has wiped out billions of bees could cause a global catastrophe worse than climate change, scientists claim.
A race against time is on to find a cure for the Israeli acute paralysis virus.
Honeybees are vital to farming because they pollinate crops.
And experts warn that a third of the world’s food crops could be threatened if they are killed off.
Onions, cabbage, almonds, apples, soya beans and most berries and nuts are at risk. Plants used to make cloth, including cotton and flax, and those used for animal feed are also in danger.
Ian Craig, of the Scottish Beekeepers Association, warned: “If bees disappear, mankind will not have much time left.”
In the UK, honeybees are not used as intensively for agricultural pollination.
But in the US, huge colonies of the insects are shipped to farmlands.
In 2005, hundreds of bee colonies in the US – each up to 30,000 strong – began to suddenly die from colony collapse disorder, which is believed to be caused by the virus .
Up to 90 per cent of commercial bee colonies in the US have been struck by the disorder over the last three years.
It has also spread to Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Greece, Germany and Poland, and Central and South America
In the UK, honeybees could be extinct by 2018, according to experts
Ian added: “There has not been that much loss yet in western Scotland, some loss in eastern areas and huge losses in England.”