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ECO-FRIENDLY AND BREAKTHROUGH MITE TREATMENT FOR HONEY BEES

Project description

Eco-friendly solution for honeybee protection

The Varroa mite represents one of the leading causes of honeybee mortality and severely impacts Europe’s 17 million beehives. Methods to confront the parasite rely on chemical treatments that also pose a serious threat to bee populations. Hyperthermia is an alternative method aiming to replace chemical treatment, but it has low efficiency. The EU-funded VATOREX project proposes a solution developed by Swiss company Vatorex AG, which specialises in efficient and eco-friendly methods designed for Varroa mite extinction. The solution comprises heating the brood combs directly from the inside at temperatures tolerated by the bees, thus keeping the hive safe and resulting in significant total cost reductions across the entire honey production process. Moreover, it is fully aligned with EU initiatives for biodiversity and pollination protection.

Objective

Currently, honeybee mortality rates range from 5% to almost 30% depending on the country and the year, being some of the main causes the Varroa mite. This parasite is currently treated with chemicals, which are considered a necessary evil by a population of beekeepers that considers chemical treatments largely as a threat because themselves are a cause for the bees’ population decline.
In view of these problems, other alternatives have been researched for decades, being the hyperthermia the methodology with highest potential to displace the use of chemicals. However, until now the current commercial solutions based on hyperthermia principles are not an alternative to chemical products due to a lower efficiency.
Vatorex AG is an award winning Swiss company committed toproviding cost-efficient and eco-friendly solutions for beekeepers. The new business started in 2016 and provides beekeepers with an eco-friendly solution to protect their hives from their greatest enemy: the Varroa mite.
We have developed an eco-friendly solution to kill the Varroa mites by using a natural principle of different heat tolerances of bees and varroa. In a range between 39°C - 42°C the parasite dies while the bees survive unharmed. In contrast to other hyperthermia systems, Vatorex Varroa Solution heats the brood combs directly from the inside thanks to a heating coil that acts like a floor-heating. Vatorex Varroa Solution has proven to be an effective treatment directly in the beehive (95% of male mites and nymphs die at 41ºC within 2 hours of treatment). The Vatorex-System means a reduction of sanitary cost of 66% per hive and a 18% in total cost of honey production that entails a total saving impact for the approximately 600,000 European beekeepers and their 17 million of hives. Vatorex is fully aligned with the European policy initiatives in biodiversity and pollinator protection such as European long-term survival strategy or the objectives of the EU Habitat directive.

Call for proposal

H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020

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Sub call

H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020-4

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Coordinator

VATOREX AG
Net EU contribution
€ 1 642 975,25
Address
Attikerstrasse 10
8542 Wiesendangen
Switzerland

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Links
Other funding
€ 1 041 657,25