Honey bees are important insects in many of the ecosystems around us. However, they are constantly exposed to many threats. They are particularly vulnerable to disease and parasites because they live in colonies. Once a member of the colony gets infected, it is very easy for the disease to spread. This is why honey bees have some specific behaviors to help them fight infections. In this study we wanted to see how honey bee behavior changes when Varroa destructor mites come into the colony.
We found that in infected colonies there was more social distancing between different types of bees. We also discovered that the infection led to higher interactions between bees of the same type. We think this helps bees fight the spread of the parasite.