The Bees

Vampire Mites

Bee Virus

The Project


University of Sheffield Crest


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Welcome  to ghost town (or should I say ghost hive?)! The place where vampire mites can freely feed on your blood and there is nothing you can do about it - as they are invisible. To make matters worse, they also infect you with a virus that leaves you paralysed and leads to the certain death of your colony.

Sounds like a nightmare? You bet it is! A nightmare not only for bees but also for the beekeepers who keep them. But how do the mites turn themselves invisible and does the virus help them do this? This is exactly what I am investigating as part of my PhD project.

Want to know more? Simply use the links on the left to find out more about a bee's recognition system, vampire mites, bee viruses and the project itself.

For more information feel free to contact me:

Ricarda Kather
Department of Animal & Plant Sciences
Alfred Denny Building
Western Bank
Sheffield, UK
S10 2TN

Supervisors: Dr SJ Martin and Prof RK Butlin
Funded by: BBSRC and East Anglian Beekeepers