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STTR Phase I: A Novel Biorational Approach to Curing Honey Bees

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2152247
Agency Tracking Number: 2152247
Amount: $274,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 21-563
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-10-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-09-30
Small Business Information
Beekeeping 101 LLC
Mansfield, OH 44903
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jessica Lewis
 (801) 885-0854
Business Contact
 Jessica Lewis
Phone: (801) 885-0854
Research Institution
 Brigham Young University
A-153 ASB
PROVO, UT 84602
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

The broader impact of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to enhance honey bee health and hence crop production through the development of a biological treatment for Varroa destructor mite, the greatest single cause of honey bee decline. All honey bee colonies in the U.S. (greater than2.5 million) are infested with parasitic Varroa destructor mites which cause devastating colony loss due to the impact of the mite itself as well as the transfer of microbial diseases it carries. Currently, both commercial and hobbyist beekeepers must decide between losing a colony now to Varroa destructor infestation, or later to consequent pesticide effects. Bringing a safe and effective new biological-based product to the market will lower beekeeper’s annual spending as well as time and effort to keep their colonies alive by leaving honey bee colonies free from the devastating downstream effects of traditional pesticides. In addition, the solution paves the way for more biologicals to be developed and commercialized through the novel scientific approach and technological advancement proposed herein, essentially reducing the perceived risk._x000D__x000D_
The proposed project seeks to bring to market a novel, biorational, scientific approach in pesticide management of Varroa destructor mite infestation. This biorational pesticide is designed to target a little bug (the mite) that lives on a big bug (the honey bee) without harming the bee. No pesticide has previously taken the biorational approach described herein, thus a variety of experiments are necessary to optimize manufacturing and administration methods as well as provide proof of concept prior to bringing this product to market. The specific aims include: 1) the development of efficient and cost-effective mass production methods through empirical testing of varying growth conditions, 2) testing of various administration methods, including, but not limited to, liquid- and powder-based methods that are scalable and end-user friendly for three different groups of beekeepers (commercial, sideline, and hobbyist honey beekeepers), and 3) additional mode of action experiments to solidify the “proof of concept” of the novel technological advancement, including an in-depth examination of the effect on honey bee heath. This technology will include developing administration methods suitable for warehouses containing hundreds of colonies._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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