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Buzz off: Honeybees use social distancing when parasite threatens hive


Scientists have discovered that honeybees use social distancing to protect their hive when the colony is under threat from parasites.The study demonstrated how honeybees respond to an infestation from a harmful mite by modifying their interactions, much as humans were asked to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular the bees were found to increase the distance between young bees in the innermost part of the colony and older forager bees who occupy the outermost compartment.

Low-temperature scanning electron micrograph of Varroa destructor on a honey bee host

“Honeybees are a social animal, as they benefit from dividing up responsibilities and interactions such as mutual grooming, but when thos …

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