Economist magazine article on varroa / RNA

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Boston Bees 

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Somewhat bizarre, and not 100% sure how workable it could be, but interesting nonetheless.

EDIT - just realised that this has been mentioned in another thread. Sorry! But will leave the attachment anyway.
 

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pargyle 

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The science has been around for a few years now and I think, in time, it has some good chances of success. A relative of mine has been working on a project that applies the same science to malarial bearing mosquitos ... there are problems and it's not going to happen overnight but bearing in mind the numbers of people in third world countries that suffer from Malaria it could be the silver bullet. Some of the research was funded by the Bill Gates Foundation I believe.
 

Murox 

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Somewhat bizarre, and not 100% sure how workable it could be, but interesting nonetheless.

EDIT - just realised that this has been mentioned in another thread. Sorry! But will leave the attachment anyway.
Just read through the article. A hope for the future perhaps.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Thanks for posting. It’s a fascinating subject full of promise. I think Bayer had a shot at this some years ago.
 

pargyle 

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Thanks for posting. It’s a fascinating subject full of promise. I think Bayer had a shot at this some years ago.
I think the only downside for beekeepers is that there is not going to be an on-going income stream available for anyone developing the science for varroa. My understanding is that they introduce the RNA into the male genetic line and it then becomes self perpetuating - rendering the males infertile. Unless there is a philanthropic organisation somewhere in the beekeeping world ready to finance the research and development I rather fear it's going to be one of those esoteric bits of science that never gets applied. But ... there's always hope.

I rather hope, on a lesser level, that someone will licence generic OA in the UK which if, globally applied to our kept colonies could almost reduce the varroa levels to a minimum in just a few seasons. If I thought the rest of the UK beekeeping universe were ready for a global attack on varroa with all known colonies being vaped in a set period each year I would even consider joining in myself ... despite being treatment free for all of my beekeeping years.

If it was licensed it would not take a great deal of organisation for every association to invest in the kit and provide a team of peope to do the deed .... for the cost of pennies per colony you could virtually eliminate varroa. I often sit with this daydream .... but would it ever occur to our organising body ?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Now there’s a thought. All BKAs working in unison 😱
 

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