February 13, 2024
Lasers take aim at bee pests
Māori beekeepers hope tiny lasers can help keep their hives free of the parasitic varroa mite.
Scientists Dr Francesco Merola and Professor Cather Simpson from the University of Auckland Photon Factory are working with Plant & Food Research and Maori growers on the project.
Dr Merola says they’re looking at how different laser blasts affect bees and mites, which cling to the bees as they enter the hive and go on to feed on larvae and pupae, causing the hives t collapse.
A $1 million “Smart Idea” grant from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund is supporting the project, which aims to create a low cost device for New Zealand and abroad.