Laura van Os has developed the first ecological pesticide against the Varroa mite, the arch enemy of bees. This parasite is currently combated using a chemical oxalic acid: effective against the mite, but in the long run, bad for the bees and the environment. Van Os has tried to find a more friendly option that would be equally effective, and has found it in rhubarb, specifically the Victoria variety of it. She has studied the best way to extract and thicken it and has experimented with pressing, blending, boiling and freeze-drying. The results come in elegant little ampules which beekeepers can order through her website. It has been established that VICTORIA is harmless to bees. Whether it will permanently wipe out the mite remains to be seen, but the initial results are promising.
Laura van Os
Photo by Astrid Zuidema