Bees Under Threat From Disease Carrying Bumblebee Imports, Research Reveals

Science Daily  7/18/13 

July 18, 2013 — Stricter controls over bumblebee imports to the UK are urgently required to prevent diseases spreading to native bumblebees and honeybees, scientists have warned. The call follows the discovery of parasites in over three-quarters of imported bumblebee colonies they tested. The study - the first of its kind in the UK - is published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

While wild species of bees and other insects pollinate many crops, commercially-reared and imported bumblebees are essential for pollination of greenhouse crops such as tomatoes. They are also used to...

(Although this is the first study of its kind in the UK, research in North America, South America and Japan suggests that parasites introduced by commercial bumblebees may be a major cause of population declines of several bumblebee species, including Bombus dahlbomii in Argentina, and Bombus terricolaand Bombus pensylvanicus in North America.)

Read more... http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130717212007.htm