Report on Honeybee Epidemic Published

A major study of the transmission of  Deformed Wing Virus in honeybees  publshed yesterday in the journal  Science has concluded that the current epidemic has its origins in the international trade in honeybees
Professor Roger Butlin, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Sheffield, said: “Our study has found that the deformed wing virus is a major threat to honeybee populations across the world and this epidemic has been driven by the trade and movement of honeybee colonies.
“Domesticated honeybee colonies are hugely important for our agriculture systems, but this study shows the risks of moving animals and plants around the world. The consequences can be devastating, both for domestic animals and for wildlife. The risk of introducing viruses or other pathogens is just one of many potential dangers.”
Senior author Professor Mike Boots of Exeter and UC Berkeley concluded: “The key insight of our work is that the global virus pandemic in honeybees is manmade not natural. It’s therefore within our hands to mitigate this and future disease problems.”

Deformed wing virus is a recent global epidemic in honeybees driven by Varroamites
Feb 4 2016

L. Wilfert1,*, G. Long2, H. C. Leggett2,†, P. Schmid-Hempel3, R. Butlin2, S. J. M. Martin4, M. Boots1,‡
+ Author Affiliations
↵*Corresponding author. E-mail:

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