Something very exciting was revealed in a recent edition of SustainableBrands.com. A Canadian firm is working on a new technique that will use bumblebees to protect bees naturally. The firm, Bee Vectoring Technology, has created an all-natural alternative to crop dusting with pesticides and harmful chemicals.
The process is fairly simple. A tray is placed inside the hive before the exit. The tray itself is coated with a powder containing a light adherence agent and a naturally occurring fungus. The adherence agent keeps the fungus on the bees while they travel to the plants. When the bee lands on the plant, the fungus is transferred to the plant and eventually absorbed by it.
Pesticides a Thing of the Past
If all continues to go well, this could make pesticides a thing of the past. However, we all know the influence these companies have as well as the money they spend lobbying. They will not give up without a fight, but this would appear to be a legitimate alternative to using pesticides en masse. Even if is not viable for all plants, they may be able to significantly decrease the use of these bee killers in certain areas and for specific crops.
The testing done so far by the company has been extremely promising. They are estimated crop increases by some 30 percent. One of the more successful tests was completed treating low bush blueberries. This crop yielded a 77 percent increase over crops not treated by the bumblebees. The treated plants showed a 50 percent increase on berries per stem as well as reducing Monilinia blight by 21 percent.
Blueberry Research Program Director at Dalhousie University, Dr. David Percival, who also teaches at the school, stated, “I was really surprised by the first results. I went back and double checked the raw yield data, then the spreadsheet to make sure the statistical program was correct. The results indicate the potential for floral blight disease control and increased berry yields with the use of BVT technology. Future work will allow us to fine tune the use recommendations.”
With the blueberry industry in North America pulling in over $1 billion, farmers and bee lovers alike are gong to be excited by this news. While there is still a lot of work to be done, it does appear as though BVT is headed down the right path. Now the trick will be to make the process as affordable as pesticides, so the agricultural world can get behind its development.
In addition to pollinating our plants, those bees can make some pretty tasty honey, and we happen to sell some of the best that money can buy! Our Manuka honey is imported from New Zealand and has thick texture with a caramel-like flavor. If you would like to get your order started, click here. And remember, we offer FREE shipping on all orders of $150 or more.