Honey bees exile mite-infested larvae

Adult honey bees can identify bee larvae that are infected by the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, by detecting specific proteins.

These proteins can stimulate hygienic behaviour in the adults, causing them to remove infected larvae from the hive. The mite has been identified as one of the main reasons for bee colony collapse disorder. It sucks the bees blood and leaving them weak and susceptible to infection.

The scientists who identified these proteins suggest farmers could select bees that respond to the proteins with hygienic behavior, to breed colonies that are more resistant to the mite.

Read more at University of British Columbia