A Potential New Tool in the Battle Against a Bee-Killing Bacteria

foulbrood bee larva

By Meredith Swett Walker It’s a beekeeper’s nightmare: She lifts the lid on her carefully tended hive and is greeted with a whiff of rotting flesh. Further inspection finds that the young bees of the colony, who should be plump, pearly-white larvae, have melted into a puddle of brownish goo at the bottom of their […]

The Microscopic Spines That Many Bee Species Use to Hatch

bee larva hatching spine close-up

Perhaps you’ve seen the 2015 video from photographer Anand Varma (and shared again last week via National Geographic), a time-lapse of bee larvae hatching and growing in their cells: Watch: larvae grow into bees in this mesmerizing time-lapse https://t.co/JvRbXDMl2e — National Geographic (@NatGeo) July 19, 2017 What you can’t see in that video—in fact, what […]

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 […]