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Disease Spread by Honey Bees May Be Cause of Bumblebee Decline

Domestic honey bees that share flowers with bumblebees may be spreading diseases that are contributing to bumblebee decline, according to research from the University of Vermont. The research team found that two well-know RNA viruses found in honey bees were higher in bumblebees collected less than 300 meters from commercial beehives. Additionally, the team detected bee viruses on 19% of the flowers they sampled from sites near apiaries. Study leader Samantha Alger notes, “This has implications for how we manage domestic bees and where we locate them.”