Growing Futures

The VSH gene

Bees to combat varroa

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The VSH gene

The varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) trait allows bees to detect and remove bee pupae – the developing bee – that are infested by the parasitic varroa mite. If the mother mite is removed or escapes without the honey bees damaging the pupa, the bees will sometimes re-seal the cell with the pupa intact. Once varroa are disturbed by the cells being uncapped, only a few continue to produce female offspring.