Dr. Olav Rueppell, a professor in the Department of Biology, was interviewed by NBC News about how sick honeybees leave to protect the hive.

While the article cites current research on the topic, Rueppell and colleagues did previous research on it.

“The bees would just leave the colony and we took this as evidence that if the bees feel really sick they should leave the colonies because they don’t want to spread the sickness around the hive,” he explained to NBC News.

Rueppell pointed out that while the new study seems to validate the earlier findings, he cautioned that “”this conclusion must remain speculative in light of the small amount of neurogenomic overlap” between the parasitized bees.

He also said that this new research should not be used hastily to draw a conclusion about the problem of honeybee decline, as paraphrased by NBC News.

“I know that everybody would like to have a simple, one-phrase answer, but my personal opinion is there are multiple factors that interact and that bees may be dying of different causes in different places,” Rueppell said.