Czech scientist develops a thermosolar beehive that protects bees from the notorious Varroa mite. Jim Drury has more.
STORY: Roman Linhart is no ordinary high school teacher. He says he's devised a way of stemming the threat to the bee population from varroosis disease, which has been destroying colonies world-wide. SOUNDBITE (Czech) THERMOSOLAR BEEHIVE INVENTOR, ROMAN LINHART SAYING: "It is well known that temperature above 40 degrees Celsius kills the Varroa mites. I succeeded in finding bee colonies in the wild which survived without any treatment just because they were placed under heated surfaces like, for example, slate or metal sheet roofs, and I got an idea to create a bee hive which would be able to heat itself and to kill the Varroa mites." The keen beekeeper developed this thermosolar hive, using the Sun to heat metal sheets inside, through a glass-coated lid. SOUNDBITE (Czech) THERMOSOLAR BEEHIVE INVENTOR, ROMAN LINHART, SAYING: "When the temperatures of the foetal bee colony body exceed 35.5 degrees Celsius, then the growth of the Varroa mite is disabled and when the temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius for longer than two hours, the Varroa mite inside the bee colony is completely exterminated." The bees are unharmed, unlike in previous scientific attempts to use heating units to control the Varroa. The stakes are high. Bees pollinate more than two-thirds of the crop species which provide 90 percent of our food supply. And if Linhart's theory is proved, he's sure to create a buzz among the scientific community.