VARROAFORM is a supra-autonomous Operational Group (covering the regions of Galicia, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha and Canarias) whose purpose is the development, implementation and evaluation of a controlled-release formulation as an alternative to conventional treatments in apiculture for the control and prevention of varroatosis (external parasitosis caused by the Varroa destructor mite) in domestic bee (Apis mellífera) based on natural ingredientes and incorporated into biodegradable systems/supports.
For this: i) the effectiveness and possible toxicity of the new products in bees will be evaluated, ii) there is also an environmental and health objective, since the reduction or total absence of residues in natural honey and other hive products (beeswax, propolis), will be also evaluated, iii) it is also intended to reduce the costs which means for beekeepers and producers the current treatments against varroa, mainly associated with the frequency of application.
Operational Groups are the main actors in the implementation of the EIP-Agri (European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural productivity and sustainability), and one of the key tools for the execution of the National Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 for promoting innovation in the agri-food and forestry sectors within the European scope. They gather agents of different profiles with common interests, such as farmers, ranchers, companies, researchers or training and dissemination actors, who are associated to implement an innovation project in order to provide a joint and multi-sectorial response to a problem or need.
- Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries_en
- National Program for Rural Development 2014-2020: http://www.redruralnacional.es/desarrollo-rural/programas-de-desarrollo-rural
Through the Resolution of February 26 2019, of the Spanish Agrarian Guarantee Fund, O. A. (FEGA) by which the funds for the execution of innovation projects by EIP-Agri operational groups are managed, within the framework of the National Program for Rural Development 2014-2020, for the year 2019, the operational group » Development of an effective formulation for the control and prevention of varroatosis in domestic bee » (VARROAFORM) is funded by 379.920,3€, 80% co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) of the European Union and 20% by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, as established by the Real Decreto 169/2018 of March 23rd.
The General Directorate of Rural Development, Innovation and Forestry Policy is the managing authority in charge of applying the EAFRD and the corresponding national funds.
- Galician University-Enterprise Foundation (FEUGA), operational group representant
- University of Santiago de Compostela (USC, Interdisciplinary Group on Pharmaceutical Technology and Release Systems, Parasitic Immunobiology and Hydric Parasitosis)
- University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC, University Institute of Animal Health and Food Safety)
- Beekeeper: Benigno Basteiro (Galicia)
- Beekeeper: Urbano González (Castilla y León)
- Beekeeper: Agustín Arias (Castilla La-Mancha)
- Spanish Association of Beekeepers (AEA)
- Beekeepers Association of Gran Canaria (APIGRANCA)
- Sanitary Defense Association (ADS) Beekeepers of La Palma