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Development of a single-bee treatment system against the varroa mite

Picture of a Bee

The varroa mite is a major threat to bee colonies. It nests in both the brood and the adult bees, weakening the growth of the larvae and the bees’ immune system. Almost 100 per cent of colonies in Germany are affected. The nation-wide annual loss of colonies can reach 25 per cent.

At present, six varroacides are licensed to treat varroa mites, including organic acids. If they are not used correctly, the hive can be destroyed. The aim of this project, involving microfab Service GmbH, the Institute for Microsensors, -actuators and -systems (IMSAS) and the Cognitive Neuroinformatics Working Group, is to use the varroacides in a targeted way that clears the infestation without risk of overdosing. This should reduce the death of colonies without leaving residues in the product.

A system is being developed which sprays bees affected by mites with an agent. At the entrance hole, a camera films and analyses the infestation and movement of the bees. Following this, if necessary, a jet of the treatment agent is sprayed out by a micronozzle. The system is to include the parameters of the surroundings in its calculations, so that a targeted and properly dosed treatment is possible.

Microtechnologies are used to manufacture very small micro-showers. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible to use the information obtained from sensors and camera images to control the actuators – units which convert electrical signals (instructions from the control computer) into mechanical movements.

The project is financed with funding from the European Union and the State of Bremen – by the Senator for Climate Change Mitigation, Environment, Mobility, Urban Development and Housing Construction under the Applied Environmental Research funding programme.

ERDF Bremen 2014 - 2020
Degree of priority / area of funding
Priority Axis 1 – The Innovation Axis
Specific objective 2: Boosting the R&D and innovative capabilities of companies in Bremen
Proportion of funds
of which public-sector funding: 319.781,90 €
of which ERDF funding: 429.781,91 €
01.01.2020 - 31.12.2021
City of Bremen
Bremer Aufbau-Bank GmbH
Domshof 14/15
28195 Bremen
Tel.: +49 0421 96 00-397
Fax: +49 0421 96 00-840

Bremer Aufbau-Bank GmbH
Domshof 14/15
28195 Bremen
Tel.: +49 0421 96 00-399
Fax: +49 0421 96 00-840

Further information