Bacteria found in the guts of honey bees could protect bees from what is known as “colony collapse”. The issue of dwindling bee populations is largely due to pathogens that cause this deadly trend of “colony collapse”. In question here are Varroa mites and deformed wing virus which are known to cause health deformities in bees. The bacteria that are naturally found in the honey bee’s gut are modified to help them fight infection.
Geohoney is well aware of the rising threats towards the health of honey bees. We have noticed certain abnormalities in which bees have suddenly disappeared from a hive. Being a global honey brand we make every effort to recognize the growing concerns of protecting bees. A certain parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, lives on the honey bee and punctures their body to feed on fat cells. This can cause great harm to the bees and can prove fatal. These parasites also pass a deadly virus called the deformed wing virus. Although pesticides can be used to kill these parasites, the pesticide can contaminate the honey and the parasites develop a resistance to pesticides after a while.
Geohoney has picked on a few reports which showed that bacteria found in a normal bee were engineered to produce double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). When this dsRNA was encountered by the immune system in bees, it responded by attacking similar RNA found in the parasites. This immune reaction has the potency to kill the viruses in a bee’s body. The bacteria are easy to cultivate and it is best to inoculate the bees from such diseases. This is wonderful news for bee health; it’s fascinating to know how by modifying a bee’s microbiome could prevent damage from parasites.