In this new article, i share my findings.
Nosema ceranae, a known Asian parasite of honey bees, implicated in colony losses, is now infecting bumblebees! Following the parasites spread from Asian to European honey bees, Nosema ceranae is now found in most temperate countries.
After using sensitive molecular screening methods on almost 800 wild-caught bumblebees from the UK, I detect the honey bee parasite Nosema ceranae in several bumblebee species.
We find that following infection by this parasite, bumblebees show increased mortality and reduced sensitivity to sucrose (a measure of learning/foraging ability).
Discovering a high prevalence of Nosema ceranae in a range of bumblebees species is alarming and demonstrates the cosmopolitan adaptability of this parasite, spilling over from Asian honey bees to European honeybees and now becoming an emerging danger to bumblebees. Sadly, this also highlights yet another harmful threat faced by declining bumblebee populations.