Varroa Mite: Explained: Why Australia has killed millions of bees to save its honey industry

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Source: The post is based on the article Explained: Why Australia has killed millions of bees to save its honey industrypublished in Indian Express on 7th July 2022.

What is the News?

Australian authorities have killed millions of honeybees over the past two weeks in an effort to stop a potentially catastrophic parasite plague named Varroa mite.

What is Varroa Mite?
Varroa Mite
Source: Scribd

The Varroa mite or Varroa destructor is a parasitic insect that attacks and feeds on honeybees. 

These insects are reddish-brown in colour and are known to kill entire colonies of honeybees.

They often travel from bee to bee and also via beekeeping equipment such as combs that have been extracted.

How does Varroa Mite impact Bees?

Although Varroa mites can feed and live on adult honey bees, they primarily feed and reproduce on larvae and pupae in developing brood causing malformation and weakening as well as virus transmission.

As the mite population in bee colonies grows, the symptoms become more severe. In general, heavy infestations result in crippled bees, impaired flight performance, a lower rate of return to the colony after foraging, and reduced colony productivity.

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