Proposed Integrated Varroa Control
Treating beehives for varroa has been a routine and essential part of the beekeeping work schedule in New Zealand since varroa was detected in New Zealand.
Synthetic chemical treatments have proved largely effective since then. However, there have been recent detections of resistance to the synthetic pyrethroids in Plant and Food Research (PFR) hives and PFR have received many reports of resistance and colony losses from Northland, Auckland and the Waikato.
Current Research in NZ
Below is the current research on varroa control being carried out in New Zealand, of which we are aware. There is also research being carried out that has indirect implication for varroa control.
- General stock improvement in honeybees via genomic selection (P Dearden, University of Otago)
- Screening for VSH markers in bees to enable marker assisted selection (Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) and PFR)
- Using oxalic acid during re-queening increase its effectiveness at controlling varroa (project funded by PFR)
- PFR are carrying out a limited survey on the level of Synthetic Pythroid resistance, funded by a third party
PFR-funded Nosema ceranae control research programme may also have implications for varroa control as it has the potential to lower pathogen loads in hives.
This project seeks to research long term sustainable controls for varroa in the New Zealand environment.
Wasp Bio-control Project
We are making some small and important contributions to this on-going project through Landcare Research in Lincoln. Future controls will include the reintroduction of a parasitoid previously introduced in the 1980s, this time more genetically matched with the UK where our wasp population originates from.