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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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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”