From BIRC - Neem - controls bee mites; and info global usage Neem

Hi all - 

Was looking at some BIRC newsletters and saw a few things that related to
past conversations on this list - thus thought they would be of interest.

NOTE: For those who don't already know, BIRC is a great source of practical
info on less-toxic techniques, including for professionals.  You can reach
them at PO Box 7414 Berkeley CA 94707 (510) 524-2567

1) Neem controls bee mites (Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly Winter
1997, page 4)

According to Dr. Eric Mussen, a honeybee expert at the Univ of Calif at
Davis, about 90% of the wild honey bees in the U.S. have been killed by bee
mites... <description of the 2 mites>.. Up to 60% of commercial bees have
been killed.  Backyard apple trees, commercial orchadrs and field crops are
all at risk due to lack of pollination.  Commericial hives have been
protected by strips of the pyrethroid Apistan (R), but the pest mites are
growing resistant to this pesticide.

Vegetable oils, and essental oils containing menthol have been used to
reduce mite damage in honey bee colonies (see Spring 1996 Common Sense Pest
Control Quarterly <see (3) below>). Now a Canadian researcher, Dr. T. P.
Liu has shown that neem extracts can control honey bee tracheal mites. ...
<Info on tests>.. Treated colonies had significantly fewer mites after
about 3 weeks ...<and>... produced an average of 160 kg of honey, while
untreated colonies produced only 90 kg. .. <Possible ways it might
work.>... Dr. Liu speculates that neem extracts might also control Varroa

Liu, T. P. , 1995. Controlling trachael mites in colonies of honey bees
with Nee and fluethrin. American Bee Journal, August: 562:566. Bee Diseases
Research Lab, Northern Ag Research Center, Ag Canada, Box 29, Beaverlodge,
Alberta Canada TOH OCO.

2) Status Report on Global Neem Usage. (IPM Practitioner, 4/97, p.18)

Book results from a world-wide questionnaire by G. Vaagt and I.
Hoeschle-Zeledon of Germany. Latest info on worldwide distribution of the
neem tree, along with all its uses. Types of registered formulations
available for many countries, plus key crops and pests. 

Neem trees are now growing throughout the Americas.  Mre than 1 million
were planted in the Dominican Republic over 20 years ago. In the U.S.,
trees have been planted in Ariz, Okla, Calif, and Fla. "For researchers,
this document is an excellent source of basic info about a valuable

G. Vaagt and I. Hoeschle-Zeledon, eds, trans. S. Feige. 1996. Report No. PN
862588.1, Pesticides Service Project, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische
Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), Postfach 5180, 65726 Eschborn, Germany, 51pp.

3) The Spring 1996 Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly, p4, discussed plant
extracts used to control bee mites. Synthetic miticides like fluvalinate
have drawbacks, like contaminating honey, wax, and pollen. Two natural
blends were tested. One had an average mite mortality of 96.7%, the other
27.5%, while the untreated colonies had 4.4%. Honey bee mortality was not
effected. These natural plant extracts seem an effective and safe
alternative to fluvalinate strips. (varroa mites, western honey bee) 

N.W. Calderone and M. Spivak. 1995. Plant extracts for control of the
parasitic mite Varroa <etc.> _J. Econ. Entomol_ .88(5):1211-1215. Contact:
M. Spivak, Dept of Entomology, Univ of Minnesota, 219 Hidson Hall, 1980
Fowell Ave, St. Paul MN 55108.

Thanks for BIRC for all their great info - they have such great stuff!!  If
you don't know their stuff, check 'em out!

Best regards - 

Patricia Dines