Novel ways to tackle varroa are needed because mites are becoming resistant to existing chemical treatments.
The cash will be used to extend a completed study that showed how to target specific genes used by the mite.
So far, said Dr Alan Bowman of the University of Aberdeen who is leading the project, this "knock-down" approach has only been used to home in on non-lethal genes.
'The next step is to continue finding which are the best genes that will kill them quickly at very low doses and then we'll move on out to field trials when we'll be working with the National Bee Unit,' said Dr Bowman.
The knock-down technique attempts to trick part of the bug's immune system into thinking that one of its genes is a virus.
Typically the part of the immune system being subverted only tackles external threats in the form of a certain types of RNA-based viruses.
Dr Alan Bowman University of Aberdeen As active genes also use RNA, it should be possible to subvert this defence mechanism by making it think one of the genes keeping the mite living is actually an invader."
Cash to help fight pervasive honey bee pest
BBC News Science and Environment