Bugs are Killing Bees' Buzz

A foul little bug is wreaking havoc on Connecticut's honeybees. The microscopic organism that causes American foulbrood, a disease that kills honeybee larvae, has been found in nearly half of all beehives in the state.

Scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station say it's a big problem because the disease can cause an entire bee colony to die off in a matter of weeks.

Douglas W. Dingman, an experiment station microbiologist, tells the Connecticut Post that about one-third of the human diet relies on bees, either directly or indirectly, for pollination of crops by bees.  He says an unchecked outbreak of foulbrood could decimate some segments of the nation's food supply.

According to the state Department of Agriculture, there are 295 registered beekeepers in the state and they manage nearly 2,600 hives.

Scientists say there's only one approved antibiotic to fight the disease, but a hydrogen peroxide mixture is showing promise.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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