How the Varroa Mite Co-Opts Honey Bee Behaviors to Its Own Advantage

varroa destructor mites

As the managed honey bee industry continues to grapple with significant annual colony losses, the Varroa destructor mite is emerging as the leading culprit. And, it turns out, the very nature of modern beekeeping may be giving the parasite the exact conditions it needs to spread nearly beyond control. In an article published yesterday in […]

Get to Know Tropilaelaps Mites, Another Serious Parasite of Honey Bees

Tropilaelaps clareae

By Josh Lancette The plight of honey bees is well documented, as is the cause of much of their grief: parasitic mites. Varroa destructor gets the largest amount of attention as the most devastating parasite of European honey bees (Apis mellifera), but other serious parasitic mites exist as well. In a new review article published […]

Mite-Resistant Russian Honey Bees Might Not Prevent Varroa Infestations

honey bee with varroa mite

By Meredith Swett Walker Imagine a parasite about the size of a grapefruit, and it’s latched onto your back where you just can’t reach it. Now imagine that parasite is sucking your blood and that its cronies are reproducing rapidly in your home and attacking your family. This horrifying scenario is essentially what the mite […]

Why Human Behavior is Hurting Honey Bees

honey bee with varroa mite

In the search for answers to the complex health problems and colony losses experienced by honey bees in recent years, it may be time for professionals and hobbyists in the beekeeping industry to look in the mirror. In a research essay published last week in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Robert Owen argues that human […]

A Neuroscientist’s Approach to Entomology

En-Cheng Yang

By Constance Lin Varroa mites, pathogens, or climate change? What exactly causes the honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)? Honey bees (Apis mellifera) offer us critical pollination services. In the United Kingdom, for instance, data from the British Beekeepers Association estimates that approximately one-third of the nation’s food supply is dependent on pollination, and more […]