The varroa mite was introduced to Europe from Asia in the 1970s, where it spread rapidly among honey bees. Today, the adult mite, which is only 1.6mm in size, is the main enemy of our western honey bees, which - in contrast to the original hosts of this mite, the eastern honey bees - cannot defend themselves against these parasites.
The Varroa mite, which cannot fly, mostly uses drones (male bees) as a means of transport from bee colony to bee colony for its spread. Once in the nest, the mite nests in the bees' brood cells and weakens the brood by sucking the hemolymph (the insect's blood substitute).
But that's not all; the varroa mite also transmits viruses and bacteria that can cause diseases among bee maggots. If a colony is severely infested, it can result in the death of the entire colony.
Researchers have been trying to breed Varroa-resistant bees for many years. So far, however, the success has not been satisfactory. Therefore, the attention and commitment of the beekeepers is required, who fight the mites with purely natural means in an emergency.