NHB-Sponsored Mite Control Research Project Completed; More Projects Underway for 2006
Longmont, Colo. - A research project titled "Microbial Control of Varroa with the Fungus Metarhizium Anisopliae" was recently completed, but did not produce any measurable results.
The National Honey Board (NHB) provided funding for the project through its research program. Rosalind James, PhD., at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Utah led the project with assistance from Jerry Hayes, •
Chief-Apiary Inspection section at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services and Jerrod Leland, PhD., Southern Insect Management Research Unit, MS.
The project's objective was to test the viability of the fungus Metarhizium Anisopliae as a control for the Varroa mite. Two field trials were conducted, each one varying the application methods and the season.
None of the experiments gave any measurable level of mite control. Although the fungus Metarhizium Anisopliae is capable of infecting mites in the laboratory at hive temperatures, poor infection rates occurred in the field. The spores survived very poorly in the hive, and may have been a major cause for lack of efficacy.
Another possible reason for the poor field control may be that the treatments failed to get the spores into direct contact with the mites, a condition required for infection to occur. The mites are protected from exposure to spores when they are in
the brood cells. Also, when varroa are on the bodies of adult bees, it may be difficult to get the spores directly in contact with the mite cuticle.
To obtain a copy of the research project report, call NHB at 1-800-553-7162.