Brit man ‘breeds bees that can protect themselves from deadly parasite’

August 25th, 2010 - 3:31 pm ICT by ANI  

London, August 25 (ANI): A British man has claimed that he has bred a strain of bees that can protect themselves from the deadly parasite, which is wiping out the environmentally vital insect.

Ron Hoskins, a 79-year-old beekeeper, lost tens of thousands of bees after the parasitic varroa mite entered Britain in 1992.

The mite poses a threat to mankind because the billions of bees it kills world-wide are crucial to pollinating crops and plants.

Hoskins, who has carried out research on his colonies for 18 years, has isolated and is breeding a strain of bees, which groom each other to remove the mites.

He is now taking sperm from these bees and artificially inseminating queens from other hives to allow the new breed to spread through Britain.

The British Beekeepers’ Association, which represents 18,000 beekeepers, yesterday described the work as ‘exciting’.

‘What I want to do is redevelop the British bee so that it can protect itself against these varroa mites,” the Telegraph quoted Hoskins a saying.

‘If all the bees in the world die out then we die out - the situation is really that serious.

‘Humans are reliant on completely reliant on bees for pollinating crops and plants which produce oxygen.

‘We are hoping that drones from my ‘grooming’ bees will mate with wandering female virgin queens and spread the footprint across Britain.”

‘This is not a short term solution and it will take a lot of work but it could be our only hope of saving the bee,’ Hoskins added.(ANI)

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