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Viewings: 7007Varroa mites are one of the most dangerous enemies of bees. They are parasites on the pupal and adult insects and during the winter can destroy almost the whole beehive.
Beekeepers are trying to fight the parasite special antikleschevoy insecticides, but varroa quickly adapt to them.
Adult bee with the varroa mite on the back (photo Jennifer Magli).
Researchers from the University of Guelph (Canada) offer an unusual way of struggle against tick-borne infections bees - with entomopathogenic fungi. This fungus can help not only because it will cause in the ticks of the disease.
It is known that varroa suppress the bees immunity: bee immune genes begin to work less and can't fight the parasite. But, according to researchers in the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, if the bee gets a tick infected with fungus, activity of immune genes in bees grows by 2-3 times as compared to normal. That is, on the one hand, the fungus does harm mites, and on the other, helps the immune system bees with this tick to cope.
However, entomopathogenic fungi can infect and ticks, and bees. Now the scientists had the task to find such a type of fungus that would be the most dangerous for varroa and least - for their owners. In the end failed to detect the strain of Metarhizium anisopliae, which caused a 90% mortality from ticks and only 24% - from bees.
Yes, the percentage of dead bees too big, and therefore finding a fungal strain, most likely, will continue. It is not excluded, that it is necessary to resort to the help of genetic engineering in order to secure stronger bees. In General, this way of dealing with tick-borne infection seems very tempting, because it is based on using natural enemy ticks, not artificial poisons.
Based on the materials Phys.Org.
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