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Bee Emergency

Last year UT lost 25 bee colonies at its apiary due to European foulbrood (pictured above), a bacterial disease. Says bee expert and professor John Skinner, who co-authored an educational article about treating foulbrood: “Prior to that, I’d only seen the disease one time in 20 years, in one colony.”

Photo by Michael Wilson

Last year UT lost 25 bee colonies at its apiary due to European foulbrood (pictured above), a bacterial disease. Says bee expert and professor John Skinner, who co-authored an educational article about treating foulbrood: “Prior to that, I’d only seen the disease one time in 20 years, in one colony.”

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  • University of Tennessee entomology professor and apiary expert and grad student Michael Wilson, who’s also a bee keeper, examine frames at the UT apiary.
  • Associate professor John Skinner conducts bee research but also plays an important role in getting information about the fight against CCD out to the “smartest land-grant university minds across America” through a website, eXtension.org.
  • Researcher Paul Rhoades removes vials of nosema spores from a tank filled with liquid nitrogen. He’s interested in how well the fungus survives low temperatures — the tank is around -250 C. Nosema is a particular threat to honey bees, striking their digestive track.
  • The queen bee, noted by a blue dot, surrounded by her sterile female worker bees. In Colony Collapse Disorder, no adult bees are left in the hive, only “brood” and food stores.
  • Last year UT lost 25 bee colonies at its apiary due to European foulbrood (pictured above), a bacterial disease. Says bee expert and professor John Skinner, who co-authored an educational article about treating foulbrood: “Prior to that, I’d only seen the disease one time in 20 years, in one colony.”
  • Tennessee apiaries have suffered record numbers of foulbrood cases in the past year‹it’s a bacterium that competes for food inside honey bee larvae.
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University of Tennessee scientists study Colony Collapse Disorder as part of a USDA task force, trying to solve the mystery of dying bee colonies.

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