Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fungus Foot Baths Could Save Bees

28.07.2008
One of the biggest world wide threats to honey bees, the varroa mite, could soon be about to meet its nemesis

Researchers at the University of Warwick are examining naturally occurring fungi that kill the varroa mite. They are also exploring a range of ways to deliver the killer fungus throughout the hives from bee fungal foot baths to powder sprays.

It well known that bees world wide are suffering serious declines and one of the causes of that decline is the varroa mite, Varroa destructor. Varroa mites feed on the circulatory fluid of honey bee pupae and adult bees, and in so doing they activate and transmit diseases which reduce the life expectancy of the bees and cause the colony to decline.

Varroa has had a major impact in all countries where it has become established, for example it has caused losses of 30–50% of honey bee colonies when it first arrived in the UK and is now endemic. The loss of honey bees on this scale is affecting the pollination of commercial crops and wild plants. It originates in Asia, but has extended its range world-wide.

... more about:
»Varroa »fungi »hive

At present, the management of varroa is based on the use of chemical pesticides, but the mites are developing resistance. Biological control technologies (the use of one organism to control another) could offer a way of moving pest management strategies away from a reliance on these synthetic pesticides but no natural insect or other enemies of varroa species have been identified on the varroa or on their bee hosts.

Now Defra-funded studies by researchers at the University of Warwick’s plant research group Warwick HRI, and Rothamsted Research has found some new natural enemies of varroa from other hosts.

University of Warwick researcher Dr Dave Chandler said:

"We examined 50 different types of fungi that afflict other insects (known as entomopathogenic fungi) to see if they would kill varroa. We needed to find fungi that were effective killers of varroa, had a low impact on the bees, and worked in the warm and dry conditions typically found in bee hives. Of the original 50 fungi we are now focusing on four that best match those three requirements."

The team now hope to secure additional funding to further examine the effectiveness of these four fungi and to begin to consider the best ways of applying this weapon across the hive. A number of approaches are being considered including having fungal footbaths at the main entrances to hives. However the complex environment within bee hives means that more devious means of application may be needed.

Dr Chandler will be hosting the Society for Invertebrate Pathology international conference at the University of Warwick, starting 4th August, where a special session is being held on honey bee health. The session will bring together some the world’s leading experts in bee colony collapse disorder to discuss the full range of its possible underlying causes.

Richard Fern | alfa
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/fungus_foot_baths

Further reports about: Varroa fungi hive

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>