The Detroit News:
A Michigan State University researcher may have found the key to the infiltration and destruction of the nation’s honeybee colonies.
It has to do with the invader’s stink. Specifically, the now-infamous Varroa mite uses a chemical camouflage to match its body odor — or something close to it — to its honeybee host. It even fine-tunes the formula to mimic the subtle differences of smell among bees in individual colonies.
“Honeybees rely a lot of on chemical communications,” said Zachary Huang, an MSU entomologist and lead author on a paper in the academic journal, Biology Letters, explaining the mite’s ability to deceive.