Breeding healthier honeybees

January 2, 2015

From: Cawthron Institute

A new research project is underway to breed honeybees tolerant to the devastating varroa mite.

Scientists at Cawthron Aquaculture Park are applying their world-leading expertise in selective breeding and cryopreservation for the aquaculture sector, to breeding honeybees tolerant to the varroa mite pest.

The project is a collaboration between Rainbow Honey, Business Development Company and Cawthron (all Nelson, New Zealand, based).

“We are working with nature to give bees a helping hand to build up varroa tolerance,” says Rainbow Honey Managing Director, Philip Cropp.

“Our aim is to develop an environmentally sustainable alternative to chemical treatments for varroa that will make the bee population healthier and cheaper to maintain, and provide pollination security for all bee-dependent agricultural sectors, while reducing reliance on chemical pesticides.”

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