Honeybee colonies are subjected to two mites, the tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi)and the varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni). Both mites suck the haemolymph (i.e., blood) of the host. The tracheal mite inhabits the trachea while the varroa mite affects the larval and adult stages of the honeybee. Both mites require intensive management and use of chemicals to control them, and both mites are found in North America and Europe. Many of the chemicals used to treat the mites, such as synthetic miticides have limited use in controlling the mites, and many are difficult to handle for the beekeeper. Botanicals, such as raw menthol have been somewhat effective, but again are volatile and not easy to handle, and the bees do not tend to tolerate it in the hive.
Enviroquest Ltd. has developed a way to administer botanicals, such as menthol, in a microencapsulated form, where the encapsulated menthol is easy to ingest by the bees, and therefore, are able to get the menthol into the hemolymph to change the biochemistry where the mites find it difficult to feed on the bee blood, and cannot increase in numbers. Microencapsulated menthol has been extensively tested for the control of tracheal mites, and has been shown to be effective. Limited testing has been done on the varroa mite due to time and financial constraints.
Enviroquest Ltd. has three patents on the method of microencapsulation of menthol, and other botanicals and can be found on the US and Canadian patent office websites (patent number and titles provided below):
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ELECTRONIC MESSAGING FOR MANAGING AND COMMUNICATING AVAILABILITY OF A USER
|2.||2749510||VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT FOR CRITICAL INCIDENT RESPONSE TRAINING||77%|
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|4.||2673677||CONTAINER AND METHOD FOR HOLDING FLEXIBLE BAGS CONTAINING A PRODUCT||77%|
|5.||2176295||MEDICAMENTS FOR BENEFICIAL INSECTS AND METHOD||77%|