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  • Kara Maddox

Honeybees dying from "deformed wing virus," research finds

This original article was published by Minnesota Daily on March 16, 2020 and can be accessed here.




University of Minnesota researchers found in a study published last month that a common virus causes honeybees to forage prematurely which significantly contributes to colony decline worldwide.


In a collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington State University, researchers found that deformed wing virus (DWV) impacts the sensory and behavioral centers of a bee’s brain.


By analyzing the correlation between gene expression and how a bee matures and behaves, researchers will be able to better understand the virus and its greater implications on bee colony decline.


Although some infected bees have physically deformed wings, many do not, meaning the virus affects more bees than previously thought.


DWV is usually spread by infected mites, which can attach themselves to bee larvae. Infected larvae develop a deformed wing as they mature, but the mite can also attach to fully grown bees, thus infecting them without leaving the characteristic wing deformity. Click here for more.

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