Researches of University of Hohenheim (Germany) manage to create first effective biological protection against Varroa mites.
Healthy honey bees without varroa mites is literally said a dream of every beekeeper. It appears, from the initial findings that varroa mite can be effective eliminated with organic approach.
The mite is the world’s biggest problem of beekeepers and at worst leads to the loss of entire bee colonies. A new invention from the University of Hohenheim, manipulates the sexual behavior of the mites, this is the first biological varroa mite treatment to offer eco-friendly protection. The Technology Licensing Office (TLB) GmbH in Karlsruhe is working with the University of patenting and exploitation of the invention.
The new process will give the opportunity to more environmentally friendly way to ensure the survival of bee hives and produce honey, where no residues are expected,
said Dr. Iris herbs, innovation manager of the Technology Licensing Office (TLB).
How Biological Varroa mite Treatment works?
The inventor Professor Dr. Peter Rosenkranz and graduate biologist Bettina Ziegelmann could prove how the mites males tracking the females in the cell, due to female sex pheromones. The scientists have managed to isolate these substances and determine their composition.
The process is quite simple… If the biological bait is sprayed on the brood cell, this irritated the mites male so that it can make its reproductive less targeted: Not only that, it shows less sexual activity than normal, but females are often mated at the wrong time, namely when they are not yet sexually mature. By sexually mature females, it has 60 percent less sex activity than without biological bait, because far fewer sperms are transferred. This varroa mites are less vital and cannot create any further female eggs. So because of that varroa cannot contribute in the reproductive cycle to the increase of the mite population.
Researchers said this method should be relatively inexpensive, harmless to humans and easy to handle.
Currently the process of biological varroa mite treatment is optimized in collaboration with an established specialist for varroa mite control in terms of dosage and the application into the brood cell.
More about TLB release in german language visit: Biologische Varroose-Bekämpfung durch Störung des Begattungsverhaltens der Bienen-Milbe Varroa.