What ever happened with the fungus Metarhiziun Anisopliae? said to kill Varroa, and harmless to the bee's??
Has anyone done anything with this?
It appears to be a crash 'n burn. According to the last issue of the "Speedy Bee" the NHB finally pulled funding on further research. Good in the lab, useless in the field. Other fungal spore research has had similar results.
The NHB was not the only source of funding for this work.
The only tangible result so far is that it propelled one
Lambert Kanga from being a post-doc at USDA to an
Associate Professor post, quite a big jump.
Funny how the initial "field trial" work announced at
an AHPA meeting a few years ago had "textbook perfect"
kill data, regardless of how the stuff was administered
(in feed, as a dust, or on a strip), but no one, including
Dr. Kanga himself, can seem to reproduce these
published results, or even come close to the amazing
kill rates announced as a result of the initial field
trials. So now is the excuse "good in the lab, useless
in the field"? Gee, before they were saying it worked
GREAT in the field... I wonder who has the raw data
collected from the hives in that initial set of trials
that seemed so promising... aren't USDA records
and data considered "public property"?
Aw poo, me had hopes this would work.
What happened was the company that made the original field test strips did not use the exact same fungus that Dr Kanga formulated in his labratory. The comapany was already manufacturing a simular fungus and snuck their formulation into the field test hoping for simular results to save/make more money. That didn't work, although it wasn't a complete failure, it didn't give the hoped for results. This year a new field test was started, I have talked to one of the beeks involved and he said he has never seen his bees this healthy at this time of year, but since he doesn't do the actual counting of mites, and he is restricted by confidentiality agreements etc.. that's all he can say. If the field test pans out, and the company decides to market the fungus, then we could expect to see this fungus sometime in 2008 at the earliest.