The parasite that is causing so much trouble to honey bee colonies is the Varroa mite. Varroa mites attack both the adults and the brood for their blood, which weakens the host and shortens its lifespan. For many of the brood, developmental problems occur. If the problem goes untreated, the parasitic infestation can bring down an entire colony.
Adult varroa mites lay their eggs in the cells of bee hives and feed on bee larvae and pupae. When these larvae/pupae emerge as adults, they have deformed wings and bodies, resulting in weaker fitness in the adult population. Varroa mites spread through “hitchhiking” on infected bees as well as sticking to beekeeping equipment .
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