New research by Rothamsted has revealed the different gene mutations that have enabled varroa mites to become resistant to acaricides, including pyrethroids (such as the active ingredients of Apistan and Bayvarol). The findings have also helped explain Vita’s earlier observations about differing patterns of resistance across the world.
Tau-fluvalinate is a pyrethroid that can kill vulnerable mites by overstimulating their nervous systems. It interferes with sodium channel proteins that are involved in generating electrical signals in nerve cells.
Earlier research showed that resistance to tau-fluvalinate in central and southern England evolved through a mutation of a single base in the varroa’s DNA. This latest research has shown that a different mutation evolved in resistant varroa mites in the USA.
Dr Max Watkins, Technical Director of Vita (Europe) Ltd, explained: “In our ongoing studies of resistance to pyrethroids, we noticed that the pattern of resistance in the USA was different to that of the UK which was different again to that of continental Europe. We have long suspected that different mutations are responsible for these variations.
Sebastian Owen of Vita (Europe) Ltd said: “We thought it would be a good idea to link Vita’s own research on swarms with some well-known, little-known and fun facts and folklore about swarms. We encourage anyone to download it, print it out and use it wherever they like. As beekeepers know well, healthy swarms are for sharing.”
Vita is also running a competition on its Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for anyone to win a free A3 poster version of the infographic.
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Vita’s 2015 international photo competition attracted the largest numbers of entries yet with submissions from people on five continents.
The overall winner is Hamish Symington with his image of two bees, each with its proboscis extended, drinking nectar from comb.
Fourteen entries will appear in the limited edition 2016 Vita Calendar distributed to Vita’s global network and the winners. Some of the photos are below and a pdf file of the full calendar is available for free download to users of the Vita Gallery www.vita-europe.com/beehealth/gallery.
The Pinnacle Winner of the first Vita Honeybee Health Initiative Award is a research project run by the UK Devon Apicultural Research Group potentially involving hundreds of beekeepers as well as professional scientists investigating honeybee queen fertility.
Seven Distinction Winners have also been announced with a wide range of projects including group bee disease identification, a children’s project and a bee wellness programme.
At Apimondia 2015 in Daejeon, South Korea, two companies based in different hemispheres and with the common aim of promoting honeybee health have announced that they are joining forces to offer beekeepers a wider range of bee health treatments, feeds and products.
Vita (Europe) Ltd, the world’s largest dedicated honeybee health company, is teaming up with Apilab, veterinary beekeeping product manufacturer active across South and Central America. Through joint marketing each company’s products can be made more widely available and there are possibilities for joint research and development activities.