The findings may help scientists develop honeybee treatments that are tailored to specific types of infections."Our results indicate that different sets of genes are used in immune responses to viruses versus other pathogens, and these anti-viral genes are regulated by two very distinct processes - expression and DNA methylation," said David Galbraith from the Pennsylvania State University.The results appeared in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

According to Christina Grozinger, director of the Penn State Centre for Pollinator Research, beekeepers lose an average of 30 percent of their colonies every winter and an average of 25 percent in the summer."Honeybees have more than 20 types of viruses, and several of them have been linked to losses of honey bee colonies," she said.Yet, beekeepers currently do not have any commercially available methods to reduce viral infections.

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