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The parasite has spread around the world, causing colony collapse and
threatening agricultural industries that rely on bees for pollination.
Emily Remnant, a research scientist based at the University of Sydney,
has received the Agriculture Minister's science and innovation award in
recognition of her work.
She said the viruses spread by varroa mites are just as big a problem as the parasites themselves.
Dr Remnant hopes to use the same bacteria that is currently being used
to combat dengue fever in Cairns mosquitoes, to tackle bee viruses.
research has identified that [while] varroa mites are a parasite, it is
actually the viruses that they spread which cause colony loss and death
in the bees," she said.
"So in isolation the viruses and the mite aren't problematic, but once you unite the two, that's when the problems start."