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Ongoing project

Entomopathogenic nematodes as biological control agents of important honey bee pests in Australia

Key research provider: Western Sydney University

What's it all about?

This investment is testing the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes as biological control agents against two significant pests of honey bees in Australia, the small hive beetle and the wax moth, and developing novel biological control options for these pests.

Biological control of pests involves the application of natural enemies of pests such as predators, parasitoids or pathogens. There are currently no predators or parasitoids in Australia that significantly affect small hive beetle and wax moth populations. However, Australian strains of entomopathogens are readily available in nature and could be developed for use as biopesticides.

The research team is:

  • Assessing a recently isolated set of new biological control agents (entomopathogens)
  • Testing the best performing entomopathogens against small hive beetle and wax moth in the field
  • Evaluating the safety of the entomopathogens for applications with honey bees.