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 […]

Why Do Varroa Mite Populations Sometimes Increase in the Fall?

The Varroa mite is public enemy number one to honey bees in the United States. Like little vampires, they suck the bees’ “blood” (hemolymph) and transmit viruses that can harm or kill them. According to Kirsten Traynor, a postdoctoral researcher in entomology at UMD, “We know that Varroa acts as a vector for viruses. The […]

Varroa Mites and Associated Honey Bee Diseases More Severe than Previously Thought

Researchers from the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently completed the first comprehensive, multi-year study of honey bee parasites and disease as part of the National Honey Bee Disease Survey. Key findings, which are published in the journal Apidologie, show that the Varroa mite, a major honey bee pest, is far […]

New York Honey Bees Evolved Resistance to Disease After Exposure to Varroa Mites

An international research team has some good news for the struggling honey bee and the millions of people who depend on them to pollinate crops and other plants. These valuable pollinators have faced widespread colony losses over the past decade, largely due to the spread of a predatory mite called the Varroa destructor. But the […]

Varroa Mites Use Chemical Camouflage to Mimic Honey Bee Scent

Varroa mites, one of the most serious threats to honey bees worldwide, are infiltrating hives by smelling like bees, according to a new study appearing in Biology Letters. The parasites were originally found on Asian honey bees (Apis cerana), but later began infesting and killing European honey bees (Apis mellifera). The new study shows that […]