At the monthly meeting of the Surry Beekeepers on Monday, November 14th, the group voted to donate $1,000 for research to a new NC bee-related start-up company. The speaker for evening was Dr. Kaira Waggoner, research scientist at UNCG and also co-founder of a University spin-out company called Optera.
Optera is a young start-up funded by a grant from NSF and currently developing a really exciting new pheromone-based tool to measure honey bee colony Varroa and disease resistance. The tool is based on findings from her PhD work at UNC Greensboro, and uses natural honey bee pheromones associated with unhealthy brood to measure honey bee colony hygienic performance. Optera calls the tool the UBO (Unhealthy Brood Odor) Assay, and they are really excited about the benefits that this tool will bring beekeepers interested in breeding or testing for Varroa-resistant bees.
You can learn more about this project at the Optera website and also by watching any of these resources:
- The UNCG Research Magazine: https://researchmagazine.uncg.edu/spring-2023/part-of-the-hive/bee-business/
- A brief video made by Inside the Hive TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYalOJRa7Aw&t=2s
- And a longer Inside the Hive live presentation and interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9SeQYL0cAQ&t=233s.