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Wednesday wordphile: phoresy

Phoresy is a noun that describes a nonparasitic relationship whereby one species is carried about by another. The relationship is usually commensalistic, meaning one organism benefits from the association but the other organism is unharmed by it. Phoretic is the adjective. Varroa mites that can be seen riding on adult honey bees are often referred […] Read more

Small but mighty: mites in the beehive

So what is a mite anyway? Generally, a mite is an invertebrate animal in the class Arachnida—a name that comes from the Greek word for spider. Like most other arachnids, mites have eight jointed legs. A simple leg count is probably the easiest way to tell an arachnid from an insect. Insects—including bees—have six legs. […] Read more

The role of fat bodies in bee health

All insects have fat bodies—tissues that contain lipids, glycogen, triglycerides, and some protein. Fat bodies store energy when food is plentiful and release energy when the bee needs it. The energy stored within these tissues is especially important during larval growth. It is also important during other periods when feeding is restricted, such as during […] Read more