That is about 1 gram per liter of water or sugar water. We know LiCl - Lithium Chloride has effects in man, and may well enter into the Honey or Wax if the colonies are dosed with lithium. As a water + sugar solution the bees can drink it - thus it kills varroa.
The degree of carry over from feed water to honey/wax needs to be monitored and the toxicity fully understood. It is my understanding that work has started on this already.
This, right here, is why I love science.
> Inspired by [unrelated RNA testing process] results, the German researchers sought to replicate them by repeating the experiment with slightly tweaked methods. Indeed, mites infesting bees that were fed sugar water with the designed RNA rapidly died, *but so did mites in a control group given another RNA that should have been ineffective*. The astonishing results prompted the researchers to suspect that the lithium chloride used to produce the RNA – and thus present in the sugar water – was actually killing the parasites. A battery of subsequent examinations confirmed their hypothesis.
Broken baseline testing FTW. Unintended consequences might contribute to avoiding honeybee collapse.
This is cool as hell, and hopefully soon, will be a post on /r/upliftingnews.
I kept bees for awhile. They were in the middle of thousands of acres of alfalfa and sage brush and I didn't think there were any wild bees within miles.
One spring most of my hives didn't come out of the winter alive and I couldn't figure out why. I asked around online and people kept telling me it was mites. I REALLY didn't think it was mites but went back out to the hives to really do a thorough check.
Sure enough... mites.
After a bear ruined the last of my hives I finally gave up. =/
If this treatment really does kill 90%-100% of mites in a single 7 day dosage period, I (as a beekeeper) would forego my entire harvest for a year if it would significantly reduce the mite load in the region.
It could (potentially) be like the polio vaccine. If we clear the mite out of entire areas through a massive program - then we would potentially be removing the need to use any further treatments.
What is critically important here is the delivery method. With Oxalic Acid you need to visit and treat every hive in a controlled manner. There is absolutely no way to treat feral populations. Honeybees, however, are naturally attracted to sweet sources and a single feed station could reach hives as far as 3 miles away (feral or otherwise).
Since those bees would bring back the treatment to the rest of the hive - it would be very easy to treat on a geographic scale.
Note also that honest (read this as most) beekeepers already do not feed their bees when the honey supers are on the hive. This means that most beekeepers would not need to change their process at all - and still have nearly zero risk of contaminating the honey they sell.
My dad, who keeps bees here in Sweden, got a new queen last year who has this mutation that will make her offspring clean out varroa infested larvae. Altough this is pretty new and it's debated wheter it works or not.
I hope we don’t end up regretting that we killed all those Varroa mites