Worker bees smell trouble in the colonies

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University of Otago research reveals bees’ sense of smell gives them a fighting chance against the deadly parasitic mite, Varroa destructor.

Varroa mites present one of the greatest challenges to honey bee health worldwide. The mites feed directly on honey bee fat stores and transfer numerous pathogens to the bee, including the deadly deformed wing virus.

Without intervention, most honey bee colonies of the type found in New Zealand (Apis mellifera) die within two years of varroa infestation.

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