I emailed Dr Alan Bowman first thing on Wednesday to point out that as a self professed "lab geek" rather than a "beek" he'd made a mistake re the behaviour of the varroa mite (that they lurk in cells waiting for eggs to be laid rather than sneak in prior to capping). He acknowledged this but apparently the missus heard him live on R2 later in the day when he gave the same explanation!!!!
it was simply proof of principle that RNAi works if the dsRNA is delivered by direct injection of mites or immersion of the mites overnight!!!
(apparently the NBU collaborators have shown that the dsRNA can be transmitted from nurse bee to food but can't imagine if in adequate amounts).
two major problems -
1. until varroa genome project (VGP) publishes there is no null lethal target gene known (however since the team work on other mites they may already have target genes in mind for which they can easily come up with sequence without absolute reliance on VGP).
2. unlike a treatment which is directly toxic, RNAi relies on you getting enough knock down of target gene expression to cause lethality.