The ‘weapon of mass destruction’ that’s killing honey bees

These are the latest images of one of the mites responsible for killing billions of honey bees around the world.

The magnified photographs of the pinhead-sized mite, aptly named Varroa destructor, were captured by Dr Jonathan Salvage of the University of Brighton, using our state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Dr Jonathan Salvage

Dr Salvage, a Research Fellow in the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, has been working with Adam Leitch, a Master Beekeeper, on both a study of plant pollen that honey bees pollinate and aspects of honey bee pest anatomy

Dr Salvage said: “The mite, with its ice-axe-like weapon of attack, the palptarsi claws, is a major threat to honey bees globally. It is involved in the mass destruction and deaths of billions of bees, which, in turn, threatens crop pollination and food production.”

BBC radio spoke to Jonathan Salvage:

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