In this electron micrograph, a parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is wedged between the abdominal plates of a honey bee's exoskeleton. Image: UMD/USDA/PNAS
Parasitic mite of honeybees does not feed on blood, but on fat - life short science news

The honeybee parasitic mite Varroa destructor does not feed on blood, as previously thought, but consumes an organ called the fat body.

This organ not only serves many of the same vital functions carried out by our liver, but also stores food and contributes to the bees’ immune systems. As Varroa eats away the fat body, the bees lose their ability to fight pesticides and stored food.

Now that it is understood how mites do their damage to bees, effective treatments can be developed.

Read the full story: University of Maryland
Scientific publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences oft he USA

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