Decoded small hive beetle genome could help control invasive honeybee parasite

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Image: Ontario Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service have deciphered the genome of a serious threat to honeybees. Small hive beetles …. eat everything in a bee colony, including pollen, brood, honey, combs, and dead adult bees.

The pests lay their eggs in the hive and the larvae feed until they leave the colony to pupate, only to re-infest a hive as an adult. They can cause honey to ferment and, if the number of beetles is high enough, adult bees will abandon the hive.

There are few effective treatments to rid hives of beetles …. However, with the beetle’s genome decoded, the new information should [help] to develop targeted control methods and more efficient insecticidal treatments.

What makes the small hive beetle so hard to control is its strong gene-guided system that allows it to detoxify insecticides.

The newly deciphered genome will allow researchers to get a better understanding of these detoxification genes, and the pest control industry is already working on applications based on the new information.

Read full, original article: Researchers crack small hive beetle genome

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