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...business and possible crop danger after millions of the honey-making, plant-pollinating insects vanished during volatile weather
Possible reasons include disease, pesticide poisoning and unusual weather, varying from less than 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) to more than 30 degrees Celsius over a few days, experts say
He added that two kinds of pesticide can make bees turn "stupid" and lose their sense of direction.
As affected beekeepers lose business, fruit growers may lack a key pollination source and neighbors might get stung, he said.
samples of potential bee pathogens supplied by the Army's biodefense laboratory, the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
using a technique that allows rapid reading of the genetic code of the suspect bug. It is the same approach, known as "shotgun sequencing," that has been used to read the genomes, or the genetic code, of creatures ranging from bacteria to human beings. It was this test that pinpointed Nosema ceranae.
"The bees must have been loaded with this stuff,'' said DeRisi, who collaborated in the experiment with Dr. Donald Ganem of the UCSF Department of Microbiology and Immunology.