R&D targets bee killer

February 24, 2014

From: Farm Weekly (Australia)

DEVELOPING new ways to treat the devastating honey bee parasite, varroa mite, is among the aims of a new research and development (R&D) statement from the federal government.

Varroa mites are parasites that live on bees and they can lead to the destruction of whole colonies and hives.

Modelling by CSIRO shows varroa mite could cost our crop industries about $70 million a year if it established in Australia.

Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce this week released a statement outlining the areas where R&D could help to better prepare our industries and mitigate the risk.

The priorities include improving the efficiency and effectiveness of crop pollination under Australian conditions and keeping managed honey bees healthy by developing new ways to treat varroa mite.

While the R&D statement underlines the need to prepare for the establishment of varroa mite in Australia, efforts are continuing to keep Australia free from the parasite.

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