Accidental Discovery May Be Bees Biggest Hope of Survival

February 12, 2018

© Lane Erickson | Dreamstime

The plight of bees has been making worldwide headlines lately as their numbers have dwindled dangerously low.  While small and dangerous with its stinger, we need bees as they pollinate upwards of 30% of the food we eat.  But scientist have not been able to pinpoint the exact reason for the loss of bees.  While environmental changes and pesticides have played their part the biggest threat to bees is a parasite that has become immune to current chemical compounds.  While pesticides account for about 13% of damages to bee colonies, the USDA says roughly 42% of bees are killed by a parasitic mite called Varrona Destructor.  However some German scientist stumbled upon a discovery that might be the one.  It appears a small dose of lithium chloride kills the Varrona parasite without harming bees. Numerous lab and field tests are giving hope to re-bounding the bee population by feeding honeybees minuscule amounts of lithium chloride over 24 to 72 hours.  The results were astounding with 90% to 100% of the parasites died leaving the bee unharmed. According to the researchers, lithium chloride could be put to use very quickly as it is easily applied via feeding, will not accumulate in beeswax, has a low toxicity for mammals, and is reasonably priced. However, wider studies on free-flying colonies testing long-term side effects are required first, as well as analyses of potential residues in honey.

SOURCE: Real Clear Science

See and hear more from the 98.5 KTK Morning Show

98.5 KTK Morning Show Podcast