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David Sparks Ph.d Heating mites to death
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: October 11, 2017

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Beekeeper and expert on bees, Lynn Williams talks about a device that he invented to kill Varroa mites that, in turn are killing bees. "We wanted something that was simple, that would work like a cookie tray where you could just slide it right in the front of the beehive. The product has what we call a closed loop system. You have two pieces of metal and there is a thermal belt in there between them. Now these belts are used in the oil industry. When you are trying to pump crude oil through a pipe, it is thick. So they take these belts and wrap them around the pipe, they heat the pipe and that allows the crude to flow more evenly. So we took this product, sandwiched between two aluminum plates, we mount the controller on the front then we insert another temperature sensor in the hive body on the top of the center frame. The controller is looking at the comparison of two values. We know what the temperature Is of the belt, we know what the temperature is that the sensor in the hive but is reading and we can maintain that temperature so accurately that it is remarkable. We are talking about 1/10 of a degree. We maintain 106° and so as not to stress the bees, we bring the temperature up to that set point over about 15 minutes to 20 minutes and at that point we have a closure stick on the front of the hive that can be removed to allow the bees to come and go freely which gives us the opportunity to kill any mites that still might be attached to the bees themselves.”

 

Just in the nick of time given that it is speculated that pollinating bees may become extinct otherwise

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