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Parasitic Plague Outbreak: A Massive Threat to the Honey Industry in Australia

In the recent past week, an outbreak of the deadly varroa mite, a sesame seed-sized parasite was spotted which is a threat to the honey industry

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AUSTRALIA: Colonies of the honeybees are kept in lockdown. The massive break of deadly varroa mite is affecting the southeast region of Australia. Recently, an outbreak of the deadly varroa mite, a sesame seed-sized parasite, was spotted, which is a threat to the honey industry. Given that the nation’s honey industry is worth millions of dollars, this is a highly serious and scary problem.

Australia was one of the few nations that was able to stop the development of the Varroa mite-induced epidemics, which are considered to be the biggest threat to bees globally. As per officials, The Varroa mite, or Varroa destructor, is a parasitic insect that attacks and feeds on honeybees.

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Generally, reddish-brown in colour, the tiny pests are best to kill entire colonies of honeybees. Their curved bodies fit inside the adult bee’s abdominal folds and are secured there by the configuration of ventral setae.

The Varroa mite can reproduce only in a honey bee colony. It attaches to the bee’s body and weakens it by sucking fat bodies. Varroa mites are the world’s most devastating pest of Western honey bees. This covers various species.

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The species Varroa destructor is mostly to blame for the damage caused by mites in this genus. The entire country could face a gradual decrease in beekeeping as many bees are being killed.

To limit the spread of the virus, colonies of honeybees have been kept under “lockdown”. “It is critically important that beekeepers in the Newcastle area do not move any hives or equipment in or out of the area,” said the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council.

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The mite first came into light near the Port of Newcastle. Ever since the deadly insects have spread to over 400 different sites, over six million bees have been destroyed. HDOA is working with beekeepers to set up a process where they can be compensated for destroying their Varroa mite-infested bee hives.

Also Read: The Majestic Turtles of Sao Tome and Principe

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