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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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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.