Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Packed in wax: the University of Graz develops a technology to stop bee disease

03.12.2019

Our bees are exposed to multiple stress factors: besides pesticides, reduced food supply due to monocultures and the Varroa mite, they also suffer from a number of diseases. One particularly serious disease is the American foulbrood, which attacks the young colonies and poses problems for beekeepers worldwide. In Europe, infected bee colonies must be burned to prevent the pathogen from spreading. Researchers at the University of Graz have now developed a simple and effective method to protect larvae from the disease: using a natural substance that is added to the wax of the hives. The invention has already been patented and will now be brought to market maturity.

“Adult bees have a lecithin-like substance in their intestines that makes them resistant to foulbrood,” explains Wolfgang Schühly, head of the Bee Health Research Group at the University of Graz.


Erwachsene Bienen sind gegen die Faulbrut resistent. ForscherInnen der Uni Graz ist es gelungen, ihren Schutz weitgehend auch auf Larven zu übertragen. Foto: Uni Graz/Kernasenko

Together with Ulrike Riessberger-Gallé and Javier Hernández López, he has isolated this substance – known as lysophosphatidylcholine or LPC for short – and tested its efficacy in larvae.

After extensive research, the trio finally found a way of administering the substance to the larvae: “We incorporate the LPC into the wax from which the bees then build the honeycombs in the hive,” explains Schühly.

From there, the active substance reaches the animals via the royal jelly in which the larvae lie. In this way, the concentration of the body’s own substance is increased and the natural immune defence is supported.

The researchers are now testing their technology in field trials in Spain and in the south of the US, where bees also breed in winter and foulbrood occurs more frequently.

As part of the “spin-off fellowship” funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) with about 350,000 euros, they want to demonstrate the practical suitability of the technology under real conditions and set up a company to manufacture and market the enriched wax honeycombs.

“The American foulbrood affects the entire agricultural sector because it reduces pollination performance,” explains Schühly, emphasising the importance of a successful protective measure.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Dr Wolfgang Schühly
Institute of Biology, University of Graz
Tel.: +43 (0)316 380 8754

Mag. Dagmar Eklaude | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Further information:
https://news.uni-graz.at/de/detail/article/in-wachs-gepackt/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Freiburg research team deciphers how stem cells decide their identity
03.12.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Better diagnosis with 3D model of human liver tissue
03.12.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The coldest reaction

With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction

The coldest chemical reaction in the known universe took place in what appears to be a chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: Deep within that...

Im Focus: How do scars form? Fascia function as a repository of mobile scar tissue

Abnormal scarring is a serious threat resulting in non-healing chronic wounds or fibrosis. Scars form when fibroblasts, a type of cell of connective tissue, reach wounded skin and deposit plugs of extracellular matrix. Until today, the question about the exact anatomical origin of these fibroblasts has not been answered. In order to find potential ways of influencing the scarring process, the team of Dr. Yuval Rinkevich, Group Leader for Regenerative Biology at the Institute of Lung Biology and Disease at Helmholtz Zentrum München, aimed to finally find an answer. As it was already known that all scars derive from a fibroblast lineage expressing the Engrailed-1 gene - a lineage not only present in skin, but also in fascia - the researchers intentionally tried to understand whether or not fascia might be the origin of fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts kit - ready to heal wounds

Im Focus: McMaster researcher warns plastic pollution in Great Lakes growing concern to ecosystem

Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem.

In an article published this month in the Journal of Waste Resources and Recycling, Gail Krantzberg, a professor in the Booth School of Engineering Practice...

Im Focus: Machine learning microscope adapts lighting to improve diagnosis

Prototype microscope teaches itself the best illumination settings for diagnosing malaria

Engineers at Duke University have developed a microscope that adapts its lighting angles, colors and patterns while teaching itself the optimal...

Im Focus: Small particles, big effects: How graphene nanoparticles improve the resolution of microscopes

Conventional light microscopes cannot distinguish structures when they are separated by a distance smaller than, roughly, the wavelength of light. Superresolution microscopy, developed since the 1980s, lifts this limitation, using fluorescent moieties. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now discovered that graphene nano-molecules can be used to improve this microscopy technique. These graphene nano-molecules offer a number of substantial advantages over the materials previously used, making superresolution microscopy even more versatile.

Microscopy is an important investigation method, in physics, biology, medicine, and many other sciences. However, it has one disadvantage: its resolution is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

Better diagnosis with 3D model of human liver tissue

03.12.2019 | Life Sciences

Fungus produces active agent in a medicinal herb

03.12.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>