DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Varroa bee mite (Varroa destructor) on a honey bee leg. Varroa mites are external honey bee parasites that attack both the adults and the brood. It attacks two types of honey bees, Apis cerana (Asian honey bee) and Apis mellifera (Western or European honey bee). Until recently this species was misidentified as Varroa jacobsoni. The mites suck the blood (hemolymph) from both the adults and the developing brood, weakening and shortening the life span of the ones on which they feed. Untreated infestations of varroa mites that are allowed to reproduce will kill honey bee colonies. The infection and subsequent parasitic disease caused by varroa mites is called varroatosis. Treatment has had limited success. The Varroa mite has been the parasite with the most pronounced economic impact on the beekeeping industry. Magnification: x12 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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