​Researchers breed a fungus that kills mites to save bees

Researchers develop a fungus that kills mites that contribute to honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder.

Credit: BigBlueStudio/Adobe Stock
  • Honeybee colony collapse is due in part to Varroa mites that weaken honey bee immune systems.
  • Chemicals that were once effective against the mites are no longer working as well.
  • Researchers are stepping in with a newly cultured fungus that goes after the mites without bothering the bees.
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We need sustainable space tech. One solution - bees?

It's time to rethink how satellites and other objects are made and eventually destroyed.

  • The objects humans send to space teach us a lot about the universe, but they are also cluttering it up. While some objects are close enough to be retrieved, others become dangerous, fast-moving bullets that can cause serious damage.
  • In addition to cleaning up what's already there, MIT Assistant Professor Danielle Wood says that we need to think more sustainably about the technology used in future missions. "We have to ask the question, will we respect the rights of people and the environment as we go forward in space," Wood says.
  • One possible solution is a wax-based fuel source (made of beeswax and candle wax) for satellites that would be less toxic and more affordable than currently used inorganic compounds, and that would help bring the objects closer to Earth for deorbiting and destruction.

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Finally, a world map for bees

First picture of worldwide bee distribution fills knowledge gaps and may help protect species.

Credit: Current Biology, open access
  • The first global picture of the world's 20,000 bee species holds a few surprises.
  • Unlike most other species, bees are less abundant at the tropics and more in dry, temperate zones.
  • Bees are endangered but crucial as pollinators – this study will help protect them.

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    Honeybee venom kills hard-to-treat breast cancer cells in new study

    An active component of honeybee venom rapidly killed two particularly aggressive forms of breast cancer in a laboratory study.

    • New laboratory studies by a team of scientists found that the active component of honeybee venom induced death in two forms of malignant breast cancer cells that are notoriously difficult to treat.
    • The magic healing molecule in the honeybees' venom appears to be melittin, which rapidly killed cancer cells in under an hour.
    • In the future, doctors could potentially use melittin alongside chemotherapy drugs to increase the efficacy of the treatment.
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    Rutgers-led research finds bee decline threatens crop yields

    Declining bee populations could lead to increased food insecurity and economic losses in the billions.

    (Photo: Sarah Dickinson)
  • Species richness among wild bees and other pollinators has been declining for 50 years.
  • A new study found crops like apples, cherries, and blueberries to be pollination limited, meaning less pollination reduces crop yields.
  • Conservation efforts will need to be made to stave off future losses and potential food insecurity.
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