Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Research looks at natural predators for bee threat

Destroying the destructor

 

Research looks at breeding and natural predators for bee survival

Auckland, New Zealand. 8 May 2009. Scientists are investigating ways to control the destructive varroa mite, a cause of major devastation to honey bees.


With funding from the National Beekeepers Association and the Sustainable Farming Fund, entomologists at Plant & Food Research are looking at ways to either control the varroa mite in bee colonies or breed bees resistant to varroa infestation.

Varroa destructor is a small parasitic mite which infests honey bees and can transfer fatal viral pathogens. Australia is the only Western country which remains varroa-free, with varroa first being detected in the North Island of New Zealand in 2000 and in the South Island in 2006.

Researchers are looking at breeding bees which display natural varroa resistance. They have identified a genetic trait, 'delayed suppression of mite reproduction' or SMRD, which produces varroa mites which cannot reproduce. By selectively breeding for the trait, using artificial insemination of queens, the team has produced a population with high numbers of varroa resistant bees.

“Through the isolation of our bee colonies, on the previously bee unpopulated Great Mercury Island, we can control how the bees breed,” says scientist Michelle Taylor. “We now seem to have a population which has high levels of genetic varroa resistance, which we will be able to use to increase the levels of natural resistance on the mainland and begin to control the varroa mite.”

Other Plant & Food Research scientists are looking at natural predators of the varroa mite as a means of control.

Chelifers, a type of pseudoscorpion, are small arachnids which naturally prey on mites and larvae. Entomologists are looking at whether it is possible to commercially rear chelifers, and how well they can control the varroa mite when introduced to bee hives.

Scientist Brad Howlett says native chelifers can survive in hives, are tolerated by honey bees and readily eat varroa mites. “However, we do not know how many mites they eat over a longer time period or how best to rear them to provide a reliable commercial source of supply. By building better understanding of these small arachnids, we may be able to introduce them to hives as a biological control for the varroa mite.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

OceanaGold: Man Killed In Waihi Mine Accident

A 29-year-old man had died following a work place accident at OceanaGold mine, Waihi last night. The man was killed after the front end loader he was in rolled down a slope. The accident happened at approximately 6.30pm on Thursday night. More>>

ALSO:

Constructing Consent: Annual Housing Consents Highest In Over A Decade

More than 29,000 new homes gained building consent in the year to June 2016, up 16 percent from the previous June year, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

ALSO:

War Against Weevil For Future Peas: “No Peas, No Weevil” Ban Now In Place In Wairarapa

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today placed a ban on growing peas within a specified area and placed controls on moving pea material (seed and untreated pea straw) within, in and out of this area for the next 2 years. More>>

ALSO:

Wood Producers: Crisis In New Zealand Log Supply

New Zealand wood processing leaders held a hui with senior government officials and political leaders in Whangarei yesterday to assess the acute log supply shortage to local mills in Northland. More>>

Consents And Taxes: Trustpower 'Very Disappointed' With Judgement

Trustpower is "very disappointed" with a Supreme Court ruling dismissing its bid to claim tax deductions on $17.7 million of project costs in a case closely watched by large-scale infrastructure developers. More>>

ALSO:

Fruitful Endeavours: Kiwifruit Exports Reach Record Levels

In June 2016, kiwifruit exports rose $105 million (47 percent) from June 2015 to reach $331 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overall, goods exports rose $109 million (2.6 percent) in June 2016 (to $4.3 billion). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news