The BBC is reporting that scientists have developed a technique to “switch off” genes in the Varroa mite which is a major pest of honeybees. They hope this technique will eventually be used to force the mites to “self-destruct”.
I’ve sung Bee Weaver’s praises before, but they stopped treating for Varroa mites over 15 years ago. They lost a lot of their hives initially, but over time, natural selection created the right combination of behaviors to cope with this pest. To me, this is a better method (along with good Integrated Pest Managment (IPM) techniques) for coping with Varroa mites then trying to genetically engineer your way to a solution.