9 Jun 2008

Aussie researcher in Stroud with answer to Varroa mite?

On Saturday I had a meeting in Stroud with Bob Usher, a bee researcher from Australia. Regular blog readers will know that as many as one in three of our bees disappeared in the last year - see more here and here for more background and a petition to sign. It is vital this issue receives more attention.

Photo: Bob and Pat Usher

Bob has been looking at the causes of the problems and has come up with a possible solution/treatment to what has been described by some as the AIDS for the bee industry - indeed Bob's experiments in New Zealand seem to suggest he could have an answer to the Varroa mite. He first contacted me after I covered Bee Colony Collapse Disorder on this blog and we have had conversations and emails since then. Bob announced less than a month ago that he was coming to the UK and since then I have tried to supply him with contacts around the country so that he could do his experiments to see if he can replicate the NZ results. He seems to have sorted out a whistlestop tour of many of the key people in this country.

Photo: part of the equipment

Anyhow I met Bob and his wife, Pat, in Tinto's in Stroud for a coffee Saturday morning along with Bernard Jarman from the Biodynamic Association. Bob gave us the talk about this 'gadget', a 'Light Tower', which somehow purifies the circulatory system of bees with oxygen, enhancing their immune systems - and eradicating mites. Now I don't know if I have this right - indeed it all seems like magic, but the case studies and experiments are persuasive. Bob has also come at his own expense to share this story and is only wanting to experiment to show the results. What have we got to loose?

Bob also showed other effects of the gadget - the photo left has wheat seeds and two avocado plants in a pot - the larger ones in both cases have been treated with the 'Light Tower'. Similar remarkable effects occurred on animals that were treated.

Of course I would like to see the causes of the problems eradicated like GM crops, radiation, pesticides etc - indeed we are desperate for more research into all of this. In fact another theory I heard this week is that HAARP maybe to blame - the US military's High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program is an investigation project to "understand, simulate and control ionospheric processes that might alter the performance of communication and surveillance systems." I have no idea whether this has any truth but it was apparently switched on and soon after colonies started collapsing.

Photo: Bob's logo

It was interesting to hear Bob's story - and that he had worked years running a fuel efficiency business and some 30 years ago had a logo of a bee - yet it is only in very recent years that he has had an interest in bees.

Anyhow before I left Tinto's I gave Bob and Pat the contact of my old neighbour, the beekeeper at Ruskin Mill (see pic left) - he showed them around there and they had plenty more bee talk.

If anyone is interested in learning more do feel free to email Bob direct: rp.usher@westnet.com.au


Grant said...

An interesting article until I got to the bit about HAARP. Its funny how one sentance can discredit a whole blog. If you want Bob's product to be taken seriously I think you need to remove any association to the HAARP conspiracy theorists.
I might eb new to beekepeing but I have a long interest in the weather and HAARP is often mentioned by those "trolling" a dicsussion.

Philip Booth said...

Appreciate your comment - also would like to see more evidence re HAARP - too easy to blame.