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Palacký University
06-14-2014, 07:56, Age: 6 y.

Olomouc Scientists Help Beekeepers to Fight Varroosis

By: Martina Šaradínová

Czech beekeepers have a new accomplice in their fight against Varroa destructor, the parasitic mite attacking honeybees. The Varroa Lamp, developed in one of the partner institutes of the Centre of the Haná Region for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research (CHR), allows a more careful and quicker application of miticides than existing methods, moreover without intervention into the beehive. The first product of this scientific centre has been launched on the market.

 “I began developing the Varroa Lamp to make things easier. All the previous methods of fighting the mite have been quite arduous. They involve taking one of the frames out of the hive and inserting a burning strip with an insecticide,” explained Karel Dušek, one of the inventors of the lamp.

The Head of the Centre for Applied Research of Vegetables and Special Crops at the Crop Research Institute in Olomouc, part of CHR, began investigating a more simple procedure. His efforts resulted in the creation of a metal Varroa Lamp, which is simply inserted into the hole at the ceiling lid. The lamp contains a burning strip with the effective substance, and natural air circulation helps to diffuse the medicine inside the beehive.

 

 “It is fast and very simple. The treatment of one bee colony takes two minutes. The honeycombs need not be meddled with, which reduces the risk of their damage or the queen’s death. The lamp is virtually indestructible and can be used by generations of beekeepers,” explained Dušek. The development of the lamp, which has been officially acknowledged as a veterinary-technical tool for treatment of varroosis, took approximately three months. The actual administrative procedure was much more time-consuming.

Bees play a vital role in the Olomouc centre. Their mission is to pollinate allogamous vegetables and medicinal plants in the centre’s gene pool. Out of twenty stem colonies, 160 frames are removed in the course of the year. There are roughly 2,000 bees in each, and they are used for pollination in technical isolators.

Bee varroosis is caused by the Varroa destructor, a parasitic mite on honeybees which can be responsible for the death of an entire colony. The Varroa destructor represents one of the most dangerous threats for bees. The treatment is conducted three times in the autumn and repeated in the spring, if need be.

The Varroa Lamp is protected by a utility model, registered at the Czech Industrial Property Office. It can be purchased at the Koppová Apiarists’ Shop on Třída Míru in Olomouc.


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Last update: 19. 09. 2012, Vladimír Kubák