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Bees Fight Back Against Colony Collapse Disorder: Some Honey Bees Toss Out Varroa Mites
ScienceDaily (Oct. 5, 2009) — Honey bees are now fighting back aggressively against Varroa mites, thanks to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) efforts to develop bees with a genetic trait that allows them to more easily find the mites and toss them out of the broodnest.
The parasitic Varroa mite attacks the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., by feeding on its hemolymph, which is the combination of blood and fluid inside a bee. Colonies can be weakened or killed, depending on the severity of the infestation. Most colonies eventually die from varroa infestation if left untreated.
ARS scientists at the agency’s Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Research Unit in Baton Rouge, La., have developed honey bees with high expression of the VSH trait. Honey bees are naturally hygienic, and they often remove diseased brood from their nests. VSH is a specific form of nest cleaning focused on removing varroa-infested pupae. The VSH honey bees are quite aggressive in their pursuit of the mites. The bees gang up, chew and cut through the cap, lift out the infected brood and their mites, and discard them from the broodnest.
Originally posted by Aggie Man
Bad idea!!! For all they (the experts) know, releasing genetically modified bees may do more harm than good...perhaps even wipe out bees for good. I say let nature take it's course and see if bees survive. Natural selection is paramount. If the bees fail, then another species will come along and fill the niche left by the bees...
Just my 2-cents