Fungus Could Be Culprit in Death of Bees

First clue to the malady that's wiped out a quarter of US colonies
By Greg Atwan,  Newser User
Posted Apr 26, 2007 2:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – Finally, a lead in the mysterious honeybee crisis that's had scientists and keepers buzzing for months. A fungus called nosema ceranae is showing up frequently in colonies that have suffered heavy losses, giving scientists hope of controlling what they call "colony collapse disorder," the Los Angeles Times reports. 

A quarter of commercial bee colonies in the U.S. have been wiped out since the fall. Researchers haven't ruled out other factors, but say the pathogen "may be one of the key players." A closely related fungus is treatable with antibiotics, giving researchers hope that if nosema ceranae turns out to be the culprit, it could be controlled.