The varroa mite is causing a highly contagious virus to proliferate in honeybee colonies here and around the globe, Hawaii and British researchers have found.
Researchers from the University of Hawaii, the University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, the British Marine Biological Association, and the British Food and Environmental Research Agency studied the pest in Hawaii.
Their research, reported Friday in the journal Science, showed how the varroa mite caused the virus, a known pathogen, to increase its frequency among honeybee colonies to 100 percent from 10 percent.
The study showed that along with this change, a millionfold increase in the number of virus particles infect- ing each bee and a huge reduction in viral strain diversity led to the single virulent virus that deforms wings.
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