Buzz on insects spreading viruses

FOCUS: European honey bee.
FOCUS: European honey bee.

BEES are known as farmers' friends, but could they also be foes? Northern Territory researcher Mary Finlay-Doney has been conducting experiments for the past three years to see if European honey bees can spread cucumber green mottle mosaic virus. CGMMV was detected in watermelon crops at Katherine in the Northern Territory in 2014. The virus is known for being transmitted through movement of machinery. The experiments indicated the virus was viable inside bee hives, but Ms Finlay-Doney stressed more research was needed.

In Australia hives are shifted from paddock to paddock, and farm to farm during pollination. "In the Northern Territory we have hives that move from Darwin to Katherine, which is 300km, then we have hives that move from Katherine to Alice Springs, which is a distance of some thousand kilometres,” she said.

Topics:  honey bees northern territory pollination

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Motorfest roars into town

ROARING SUCCESS: Crowds at the Gatton Motorfest on Saturday March 17 2018

Gatton Motorfest served up plenty of thrills this weekend

No Harm done in Gary's switch to organic farming

STILL GOING STRONG: Gary Harm of Mt Whitestone Farms doubts he would still be able to work his family's land, purchased in 1930, if he didn't make the switch to organic farming methods twenty five years ago.

Gary Harm of Mt Whitestone Farms doubts he would still be farming.

Rhonda McLucas going coast to coast across the UK for a cure

ROCKY ROAD: Gatton Real Estate principal Rhonda McLucas undertook the West Highland Way walk in 2017.

Rhonda McLucas is taking on the Coast to Coast Walk for a cause.

Local Partners