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Glad to see some progress finally made on the semiochemical front. The idea has actually been around for about 10 years. There are several interesting traits about Varroa biology that could be exploited. For example the foundress mite could be induced to lay only diploid (female) or only haploid (male) eggs. All roosters or all hens means no reproduction.
 

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I have seen that before and wondered how long it takes for the research to produce practical results. The article indicates that the process is in the patent stage and that industry partners will be required to further develop a marketable product. My question is how long does this tie up the release of an effective product that we might safely use?

Wayne
 

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The article indicates that the process is in the patent stage and that industry partners will be required to further develop a marketable product. My question is how long does this tie up the release of an effective product that we might safely use?

Wayne
I deal with patents relatively regularly but they are mechanical in nature. When it comes to chemicals it's a whole different ball game. How does it interact with anything else it might come into contact with? What are the long term risks to human as well as insect? Just thinking about the "what if" tests that would need to be run to get a US patent and reasonable insurance makes my skin grow cold.

I'd love to see something like this (die varroa!, die!), but someone with deeper pockets (ie industry partners) to do the "due diligence" will be required. These partners will need to make their money for the time, effort, energies, and money committed to this project. This is no social project, a return on investment is rightly deserved for risk. The tunnel is long and dark, any potental industry partner will listen long and hard for a train before committing to entering it.
 

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"When it comes to chemicals it's a whole different ball game." DC

The term "chemicals" in this context may a bit of a loaded term, since these compounds occur naturally in the hive, ie the scent of drone brood, similar to how drone brood removal works for Varroa mitigation. In essence these materials are already being used without regulation because they naturally occur in the hive. I suppose if we found a way to use honey or bee's wax to control mites somebody would want to regulate that to... some would consider bee venom a hazmat?

There are definite concerns with tweaking the semiochemical ecology one way or the other as it is what cues bee behavior.
 

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The term "chemicals" in this context may a bit of a loaded term, since these compounds occur naturally in the hive, ie the scent of drone brood, similar to how drone brood removal works for Varroa mitigation.
Fully agreed. However, oxalic acid naturally occures in honey and the hive yet there's no USDA approval for using it to treat mites. Loaded term or not, OA and this drone brood scent compound are chemicals. Someone is going to have to have a financial incentive (ie profit)to get this approved and going. Considering it will be around food that's meant for human consumption testing (possibly substantial) must occur. If money can't be made getting it approved it's not getting off the ground.
 

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"Considering it will be around food that's meant for human consumption testing (possibly substantial) must occur." DC

Wouldn't that be only if the application required higher concentrations than already occur in the hive? Open brood already produces enough semiochems to draw the mites.
 

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So the real question is, how can a beekeeper take advantage of this now... without having to order chemicals...

Questions:
1)If you take a frame of drone brood and freeze it (kill the brood), and then place it back in the hive, is the smell still there? Would it linger long enough to be effective?

2) Would there be any 'nutritional value' in the dead drone brood for the mites to feed on? (assuming the drone cells were un-capped to allow access)

If the smell lingers after freezing, and there is NO nutritional value in the dead bees... could you not adapt a screened bottom board to slide in a frame of frozen drone brood? Now you've killed the mites that were in that frame of brood, plus you'd be able to attract mites to it, below the screen... away from the rest of the bees.


Or...
How do I brew some drone brood scent in my basement? Crush up a frame of drone brood?


And of course... all of this is still a temporary solution... the bees aren't adapting to their environment... we're still interfering.
 

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I know guys have taken dead queens and soaked them in alchol, to use as swarm bait. I'm thinking pull 20 or so drone brood, soak in alchol. Any thoughts on how to use it?
 
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