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Project description

Saving bees with proper heat

The Varroa mite is one of the most harmful pests of honeybees worldwide, responsible for up to 30 % of their mortality. As conventional chemical treatments pose no less danger for honeybees, there is a need for an environmentally safe, sustainable alternative to eliminate the Varroa parasite. However, existing techniques are still far from offering enough effective choices. The EU-funded VATOREX project will provide revolutionary change with the Varroa treatment solution based on different heat tolerances of bees and parasites. Thanks to the advanced technology, the Vatorex-System enables an easy, safe, pesticide-free, ecological and more efficient fight to save honeybee populations from the varroa mite, while keeping low sanitary costs and impacts for beekeepers.


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 a small Swiss company committed to improve the bees’ health. The new business has started off as an association in 2015 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-System heats the brood combs directly from the inside thanks to a heating coil that acts like a floor-heating. Vatorex-System 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


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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
Attikerstrasse 10
8542 Wiesendangen

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

Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 21 429,00