The Treatment Department tests novel organic treatments against honey bee diseases.
Our aim is to avoid chemical residues in honey bee products and to improve sustainable beekeeping.
Natural compounds that are under investigation include plant metabolites, propolis compounds, royal jelly peptides, as well as probiotic bacteria from the honey bee stomach. The direct impact of these substances will be tested on Varroa mites, Nosema, bacteria and viruses. Additionally we look at effects of these substances on healthy and infected honey bee hosts at the individual level and at the colony level. Beneficial effects of these substances in reducing viral loads in the vectoring Varroa mites will also be evaluated.
Propolis compounds have already demonstrated antiviral effects in humans and animals. The royal jelly peptide Royalisin has been proven to possess antimicrobial properties and large-scale production using biotechnological methods will be established for field trials.
Within the Bee Doc project we have so far identified plant extracts as well as probiotic lactic acid bacteria that reduce the effect of bacterial disease in honey bees.
The Treatment Department will enable the further development of promising substances into practical curative or preventative treatments for apiculture.