If this is true, we might have a problem as scientists say that a parasitic Varroa mite have turbo-charged the spread of a virus responsible for a rise in honey bee deaths around the world.
The findings are reported in the journal Science.
The mite helped spread a particularly nasty strain of a disease called deformed wing virus.
The mites act as tiny incubators of one deadly form of the disease, and inject it directly into the bees’ blood.
This has led to “one of the most widely-distributed and contagious insect viruses on the planet”.
The team, led by Dr Stephen Martin from the University of Sheffield, studied the honeybees in Hawaii, where Varroa was accidentally brought from California just five years ago.
The team spent two years monitoring colonies – screening Varroa-infected and uninfected bees to see what viruses lived in their bodies.