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Honeybee decline linked to deadly virus

8 June 2012 Last updated at 06:44 BST

A parasitic mite has helped a virus wipe out billions of honeybees across the globe, say scientists.

A team studying honeybees in Hawaii found that the Varroa mite helped spread a particularly nasty strain of a disease called deformed wing virus.

This has led to "one of the most widely-distributed and contagious insect viruses on the planet".

The findings are reported in the journal Science.

Victoria Gill reports.