The devastating effects caused by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor are considered one of the most important problems for modern apiculture. The damages caused are so high that 100 % of parasitized colonies will collapse in 2-3 years in absence of an effective control in place. Beekeepers are relying heavily in a few active ingredients to control the pest, mainly pyrethroids (tau-Fluvalinate or Flumethrin), Coumaphos or Amitraz. In some cases, they are using non-commercial formulations with no veterinarian advice which turns the situation even worse. Currently, there are several spots of resistance to these active ingredients but there is no dedicated plan in place to detect and quantify their levels and distribution.
We are aiming to make a significant contribution to the elucidation of resistance mechanisms in V. destructor populations and to develop and deploy high throughput diagnostics assays to detect resistant mites. Transferring this information to the beekeepers and regulators should help in designing more effective strategies to control the mite.
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