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Bee Anatomy 101

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“The Silence of the Bees” incorporated one tiny error. Hannah Nordhaus writes: “… microscopic tracheal mites that set up shop in a honeybee’s feeding tube and shorten its lifespan.”

I’m no honeybee biologist, but I was trained as an entomologist. “Tracheae” are the abdominal tubes that insects use to breathe. So it’s more likely that the mites colonize the tracheae, interfere with the insects’ ability to breathe, and thereby shorten their lifespans.

David Robertson
Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

Editor’s Note: We regret the error.

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