Infectious diseases are one of the main reasons for the death of entire honey bee colonies. According to bienen-nachrichten.de, scientists came across a study that hoverflies are exposed to the same pathogens as honeybees.
In this respect, they can exchange pathogens with each other, especially when visiting the same flowers. The range of the European honeybees is limited to a few kilometers.
Hoverflies, on the other hand, are very mobile by nature and can undertake large-scale hikes every year. The study therefore suggests that hoverflies have the potential to spread pathogens across entire continents.
In this way, local bee populations could be exposed to new strains of disease and they were more likely to be infected. The researchers now want to think about ways to limit this transfer between species.
It is unclear whether the hoverflies only carry the diseases with them or whether they also harm the hoverflies. This is important to find out since hoverflies are also extremely valuable pollinators and some species are in decline.