Study: bumblebees catching honeybee diseases

Vanessa Nyarko

Honeybees and bumblebees may be part of the same family, but their relationship may be harmful, according to a new study.

"The spillover of parasites and pathogens and disease" from managed honeybee hives are affecting wild bumblebees, study author Mark Brown told Fox News.

Bumblebees and honeybees share the flowers they pollinate, which are contributing to the spread of deformed wing virus (DWV) and the varroa mite, a widespread parasite, according to the BBC. The bumblebees may pick up those pathogens of the infected honeybees by invading honeybee hives and steal their nectar. 

"Wild populations of bumblebees appear to be in significant decline across Europe, North America, South America and also in Asia," Brown told Fox News.

Those diseases affect wild bumblebees’ lifespan and other health problems. They are commonly found in honeybees but have been found recently to affect adult honeybees, reported the BBC. 

Studies have shown that bumblebees provide $3 billion worth of fruit and flower pollination in the United States, according to Fox News.