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Mushroom extract offers hope for honeybees
“Our greatest hope is that these extracts have such an impact on viruses that they may help varroa mites become an annoyance for bees."
Findings will help falling honeybee colonies fight viruses

Researchers in America have used mushroom extract to successfully treat dozens of honeybee colonies infested with varroa mites.

According to a paper published in Scientific Reports, colonies fed mycelium extract from the amadou and reishi mushrooms showed a 79‑fold reduction in deformed wing virus and a 45,000‑fold reduction in Lake Sinai virus compared to control colonies.

The study was carried out by Washington State University (WSU), the United States Department of Agriculture and colleagues at the firm Fungi Perfecti.

“Our greatest hope is that these extracts have such an impact on viruses that they may help varroa mites become an annoyance for bees, rather than causing huge devastation,” said WSU entomology professor Steve Sheppard.

“We’re excited to see where this research leads us. Time is running out for bee populations and the safety and security of the world’s food supply hinges on our ability to find means to improve pollinator health.”

It is hoped the findings will help falling honeybee colonies fight viruses that are known to play a role in colony collapse disorder.

“One of the major ways varroa mites hurt bees is by spreading and amplifying viruses,” Sheppard continued. “Mites really put stress on the bees’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to viruses that shorten worker bee lifespans.”

 

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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”