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Worker honeybees feed, groom, and tend to the queen throughout her lifetime, which could theoretically provide an opportunity for pathogens to spread from the workers to the queen. As a result, scientists suspect that the queen may carry similar viruses to the ones carried by the worker bees in her colony. A team of researchers led by Declan Schroeder, PhD, recently published a study exploring similarities between pathogens found in worker bees and queens and analyzing pathogen transmission from workers to queens.

Scientists suspect that wasps and hornets preying upon honeybees promotes the spread of viruses. However, the overall impact of this process on honeybees is still widely unknown. The recent arrival of the Asian giant hornet — often referred to as the "murder hornet" — in the United States only amplifies the necessity to discern how viruses move between wasps, hornets, and honeybees.

Pesticides used in agriculture and landscaping negatively impact the health of wild birds, as birds can ingest pesticide-treated seeds. Among the many dangerous effects, birds can experience sedation, suppressed immunity, altered flight and migration, fewer and smaller hatched chicks, and death with ingestion of as few as six pesticide-containing seeds.

Scientists collaborate with public and private partners to develop tactical biosecurity strategies to limit disease spread for specific animal movements based on risk-based science

ST. PAUL, MINN. --- On May 1, the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine’s (CVM) Secure Food System (SFS) team received $1 million from USDA NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) for the team’s proposed work involving tactical sciences for agricultural biosecurity. 

More than 65 percent of U.S. households own a pet. Recent research has revealed that, of those pets, mainly ferrets and cats are particularly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Tigers and lion were tested positive for SARS-COV-2, at the Bronx Zoo in New York. While this is unfortunate, surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in cats could be an avenue for understanding and ultimately eliminating COVID-19 in humans and animals alike.

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Martin Moen
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