Fungus to control mites?

Interesting article about using fungus to control varroa mites.

"The biggest scourge to bees is tiny—a mite the size of a pinhead that feeds on them and spreads deadly viruses. Getting rid of the parasite, Varroa destructor, is tough: Chemicals can kill it, but the mite has started to evolve resistance to the usual pesticides; moreover, these and other treatments can harm the bees themselves. Now, researchers have toughened up a mite-killing fungus so it can slay the bee slayers inside a hot beehive. If the new strain passes further tests, it could help honey bees around the world avoid a gruesome fate, and reduce the use of chemical pesticides."

 

yesbut

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Seems they might have come up with a better means of keeping the stuff in the hive than our researchers did a few years ago.
 
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This fungus was trialed extensively in New Zealand a few years ago. The trials were ultimately unsuccessful but as far as I know they didn't use the approach of breeding a hardier fungus. If scientists can iron out all the wrinkles it would be a very useful varoa treatment and should be relatively affordable. It is mass produced for Locust control. Thanks for posting this interesting article I hadn't seen this one before..
 

Sailabee

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I seem to remember the research was sold to a private company far too early in the process, and the company was unable to spend sufficient time and money to develop it to a marketable product. The government of the day thought they had extracted money on the deal to cover the research, but failed to realise that if they kept ownership and finished it properly, there was far more money to be made.
 

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