Scotland's population of honeybees could be wiped out by a mystery virus.

Known as the Marie Celeste Syndrome, it has already killed million of insects around the world.

Beekeepers say Scottish swarms - which total half a billion bees - are at risk because defences against the virus are "woefully inadequate".

In Marie Celeste Syndrome, also known as Colony Collapse Disorder, worker bees disappear without trace and never return.

The epidemic is believed to be triggered by a bug known as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, which causes paralysis leading to death.

Enid Brown, of the Scottish Beekeepers Association, said: "If the Israeli virus gets a grip here, we would have major problems.

"At worst we would end up with no honeybees and the effect on crops would be massive."