Investigating the effects of microbial biopesticides as biocontrol for honey bee varroa mite

Metarhizium is a sporulating soil fungus used worldwide as pest biocontrol agents for their entomopathogenic properties. Varroa mite is a major pest of honey bees and are detrimental to honey bee health and primarily cause colony collapse. Chemical miticides raised concerns about human and pollinator health hazards and adverse environmental impacts. Therefore, beekeeping community actively seeks biopesticides as an alternative solution. This research proposal aims to investigate the potential of a Metarhizium isolate (Metarhizium brunneum), as a biopesticide to control varroa mites in honey bee colonies. We also aim select new strains of Metarhizium brunneum, more tolerant to higher hive temperature and can effectively kill Varroa mites. Our study will also provide crucial information on how this microbial biopesticide might improve directly honey bee health. This project aligns with the BIOAg priority of advancing applied research of sustainable management of honey bees pests and provide cost-effective and eco-friendly biocontrol strategies.

Grant Information

  • Project ID: 222
  • Project Status: Ongoing


  • Principal Investigator(s): Hopkins, B.
  • Grant Amount: $40,000