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drstitson 

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just seen a bit on potential new varroa Rx on BBC news - the male presenter tried in vain to explain why varroa is bad to colleagues (sucking "blood", transmitting viruses inc DWV) with little interest from sports guy and feigned interest from the woman.
 

Skyhook 

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just seen a bit on potential new varroa Rx on BBC news - the male presenter tried in vain to explain why varroa is bad to colleagues (sucking "blood", transmitting viruses inc DWV) with little interest from sports guy and feigned interest from the woman.
Whenever there's an item on BBC news regarding something I know about (eg horticulture related) I'm always astonished by how poor the level of research and reporting is- which makes me wonder how reliable any of it is.
 

Poly Hive 

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Yes......... funny that. You take what they tell you at face value and when an item crops up that you, the viewer really do know about, then you are left in serious doubt about the accuracy of the rest of it all......... disturbing.

Not to mention is it only news if a camera team is on hand.

PH
 

Polyanwood 

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I heard it on Radio 4 when I was waking up. Aberdeen University and NBU have developed a treatment that makes the varroa behave as if it is trying to remove a vurus from its own body and chew itself to death. They started off injecting double strand RNA into the varroa, but found that impractical and said that they found another delivery mechanism by putting this stuff in syrup or pollen patties for the bees to ingest instead.

I was excited.
 

Poly Hive 

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Well if Aberdeen Uni is involved then the NBU might actually manage to do something. You can tell where I am putting my cash...LOL

PH
 

george 

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It was an interesting piece , badly explained .
Also heard it on Radio 4 and if I were joe public without any knowledge about bees I would be none the wiser .
The researcher from Aberdeen Uni was not the clearest speaker I have ever heard .
 

stilllearning 

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also last year the constant drivel of "declining honey bees". BS of the highest order. still, ********, thornes etc etc wont be complaining !!
 

drstitson 

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RNAi clarification

"makes the varroa behave as if it is trying to remove a virus from its own body "

that is basically a poor explanation of RNAi NOT what they have done.

they insert length of ds RNA (very stable unlike ss RNA) - a virus defence system (including the wonderfully named molecule DICER) chops it up thinking it is a virus - this frees up ss RNA complimentary to target gene, stopping it being read.

if target gene is an important varroa specific "housekeeping" gene then provided enough gets into the mites they will die.

the team have however NOT as far as i understand the reports, found and targetted a "lethal" gene only proved the point of principle (ie delivery and knockdown).

this is a routine technique in labs nowadays - in fact (and i couldn't condone this) ANYONE wanting to get ahead of the field could look at varroa genome data, choose a target gene, come up with RNAi sequence using free software package and order a batch online very cheaply. add it to your feeder and see what happens. it might do nothing, kill your bees or it might work! who knows?

shall i send HRP a white coat to go with his bucket of tea and parker knowle???

oh and by the way nice to see BBC still using pics of bumblebees on flowers for honeybee features!!!!
 

Poly Hive 

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If you are going to attempt clarification how about spelling out what the initials mean?

I for one ain't a clue what rnai means if even I got the initials right.

PH
 

Vergilius 

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If you are going to attempt clarification how about spelling out what the initials mean?

I for one ain't a clue what rnai means if even I got the initials right.

PH
I think he's struggling with that one.

Is the treatment aimed at controlling varroa or at wiping them off the face of the planet?

Hope it's the last one...:reddevil:

Ben P
 

drstitson 

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sorry

sorry

RNA - ribonucleic acid (as opposed to DNA)

RNAi - RNA interference (gene "knockdown" or gene silencing)

ds/ssRNA - double or single stranded RNA

HRP - hedgerow pete

BBC - british broadcasting corporation
 

drstitson 

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"Is the treatment aimed at controlling varroa or at wiping them off the face of the planet?"

controlling - unless every single bee/hive/colony in world gets a drenching!!!!
 

Vergilius 

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"Is the treatment aimed at controlling varroa or at wiping them off the face of the planet?"

controlling - unless every single bee/hive/colony in world gets a drenching!!!!
Would this "gene" pass down into the next generation(s) of varroa?

Ben P
 

drstitson 

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NO

this is NOT genetically modifying the mites.

this is simply hitting them in the genome so to speak.

it's what has already started being used to treat some cancer patients - a magic bullet that targets the mutated gene products in the cancer itself. The treatment does not modify the DNA of the tumour or the patient.
 

Teemore 

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Never mind Aberdeen Uni's research, I think that this persistent cold weather is going to do us a few favours in terms of mite control..... the longer my colonies are broodless, the fewer mites will be around to plague them in the Spring (As long as nothing else kills them off before hand!)
 

RoofTops 

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Cold weather is very good for keeping mite populations down, it makes OA treatment very effective as well. Michael Bush actively promotes not treating for varroa but he lives in Nebraska where it get mighty chilly in winter. I suspect there is a connection between his varroa regime and the climate in his location. Here in South Devon we are having the longest chill I can remember and hopefully the bees should go into next season with a low varroa load especially after I have given them their winter OA.
 

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