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Monday, June 11, 2012

Honeybee virus

7 June 2012

Honeybee virus: Varroa mite spreads lethal disease
By Victoria Gill
BBC Nature


A parasitic mite has helped a virus wipe out billions of honeybees throughout the globe, say scientists.

A team studying honeybees in Hawaii found that the Varroa mite helped spread a particularly nasty strain of a disease called deformed wing virus.

The mites act as tiny incubators of one deadly form of the disease, and inject it directly into the bees' blood.

This has led to "one of the most widely-distributed and contagious insect viruses on the planet".

The findings are reported in the journal Science. (...)

Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/18339797


INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT HONEYBEES:

--Bees have different colour detection systems from humans, and can see the world in ultraviolet. This helps them to detect the flowers they pollinate and take nectar from

 --Pollination is essential for agriculture, as well as the reproduction of non-food flowers and plants. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, pollinators including bees, birds and bats are involved in more than a third of the world's crop production

--Honeybees evolved to make honey as a food source for the colony. Selective breeding of European honeybees by humans has produced colonies that make excess honey for us to harvest

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