Here's what I know about the research that is going on for the Varroa
To date no predator or parasite has been found. A guy named Eric
Erickson, director of the U.S. Department of Ag's Carl Hayden Bee
Research center in Tucson, Az has been studying the mite's susceptibility
to disease during a vulerable time in the mite's life cycle. Christine
Peng of UC Davis also found out that Asian bees perform grooming rituals
that help prevent the mite from reaching epidemic proportions. If a
infested Asian bee is unsuccessful in cleaning herself, she will perform
a grooming dance, attracting nearby workers to help remove the mites.
The bees then crush the mites in thier mandibles and drop them outside
European bees have difficulty detecting and recognizing the mites, and
make only infrequent attempts to remove them. The hope is to selectively
breed for the grooming behavior in European bees and make them less
suceptable to the mites.
Another problem with the mite is that it injects its larvae into the
bee's brood chambers infecting the young bee larvae. When they emerge
they are weak or malformed. Now getting a miticide into the brood
chambers is a difficult problem.
That's about all I know right now.
D.W. Trotter Ph.D.
Organic Resources, Inc.
The Organic Resource Centre
295 Neptune Ave.
Encinitas, CA. 92024
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