INDIA is facing a new kind of invasion.
Native bee colonies in south India are
threatened by a viral disease, believed
to have been carried in by foreign bees.
The viral infection, known as Thai Sac
Brood disease, has caused devastation
in the past couple of years in domestic
bee colonies and ruined the apiculture
business in many parts of south India.
The virus kills the larvae. Pandurang
Hegde, co-ordinator of the Save the
Honey Bee Campaign, based at Sirsi
near Goa, alleged, "Even after realising
that the plan to import bees into south
India is a failure, the government still
wants to go ahead".
The disease first struck the Western Ghat coastal area of Dakshina Kannada and then spread to parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. According to Hegde, the virus is believed to have been introduced here by exotic Italian bees (Apis mellifera) that are being propagated by the government.
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