Latest clue in the mystery of the dying honey bee colonies: damaged ribosomes. This genetic damage means the bees are less able to manufacture thr proteins they need to remain healthy and fight off potential infections. Here's "Scientific American" podcast with one of the researchers who discovered the ribosome evidence. The Illinois researchers say an exotic mite brought to the U.S. in the past two decades may be causing the ribosome damage. Bees are necessary for the pollination of many plants, including fruits and berries we humans eat. Native bees can often do the same work but honeybees allow growers to concentrate a larger population of bees near orchards and groves as needed. Here's a graphic description of how these virroa mites work on bees, and how bee keepers can beat back the mites. The main mite killer is tradenamed Apistan and it contains fluvalinate. It's considerd toxic enough that no residue is legally allowed in honey that is marketed in U.S.