(CBS4) — Move over murder hornets, there’s a new bee-killer in town. Researchers at University of Colorado-Boulder have found a so-called “pandemic” infecting bees around the world.

(courtesy: CU Boulder)

It’s a fungal pathogen known as Nosema — one of the factors involved in colony collapse disorder.

The infection is most common in the European honeybee. Almost nothing is known about the impact of this pathogen on native, solitary bees, which make up the majority of the approximately 20,000 bee species on the planet.

Scientists say more work is needed to understand the infection in order to protect native bees because they are “incredibly important as pollinators in their local ecosystems and contribute to the pollination of agricultural crops,” researchers stated.

“One out of every three bites of the food we eat is due to a pollinator,” said Arthur Grupe II, lead author and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

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