Infectious diseases linked to the colony collapse of honeybees appear to be spreading among wild bumblebees that pollinate crops worldwide, dealing a potential double blow to agriculture, according to a new study.

Studies at 26 sites in England found that 1 in 5 bees suffered from deformed wing virus, which can ground and eventually kill the insects, according to a report published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.

More than a third of the honeybees were infected, and about 11percent of the bumblebees carried the virus — figures that researchers called highly conservative.

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