Bees Can Adapt to Survive
In the mid-90s a mite known as Varroa destructor attacked the bee population and devastated their numbers. Scientists worried that this may spell the decline of the honeybee, as they’ve experienced severe colony loss in the past decade. However, these little fighters aren’t giving up just yet. In a recent study, scientists found that bees have been developing a genetic resistance to the predatory mite since its’ appearance.
Scientists have developed a new DNA analysis tool that is able to work with degraded DNA to study the comparison between bees kept in a museum since the mite attack and bees caught today that have developed this genetic resistance. Researchers were able to see exactly how the evolution of these bees occurred. This new research may also help scientists find a way to breed more of these mite-resistant bees, in order to help build up the damaged bee population. This is a perfect example of natural selection working to make a species stronger through evolution. If these bees can build up a resistance to this dangerous mite, might they also be able to take on future challenges? Our worries about the bee population declining may unfounded when these little guys seem to have a pretty good system of their own for ensuring their survival.
What do you think about this study? Do you think bees can adapt to any change through natural selection and evolution?