New vectoring technology turns bees into soldiers in the war against plant pests

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
ba c eab ea b
Image: Reuters

Bees are being armed as soldiers in the war on plant pests, leading the charge toward sustainable farming. Farming is an endless battle against pests and pathogens, and must be waged with a careful combination of genetics, chemistry, and management. A new strategy developed by BVT (Bee Vectoring Technology) seeks to rewrite the rules about battling plant pathogens. This approach uses pollinator bees to deliver a payload that targets fungal pathogens that can limit fruit and vegetable production.

The BVT process begins in the hive….When a bumble bee heads out to forage, it weaves its way toward the hive’s exit. On the way, it walks through BVT’s proprietary dust, which clings to its furry body. The bee exits the hive, and just as it delivers dusty pollen from flower to flower, it now also delivers this fungicidal powder.

Related article:  Trace amounts of neonicotinoid pesticides found in 75% of honey samples worldwide—'far below' levels dangerous to humans

The fungicide is not a typical chemical control, but instead a fungus itself. Clonostachys (klon-o-stack-is) rosea is a parasitizing fungus, meaning it makes a living by sponging off of other fungi. It occurs naturally in the environment and is relatively ubiquitous — just not necessarily in flowers. Only a couple of spoonfuls of spore dust are needed to treat an acre, and the bees can access flowers in the canopies that sprayers can miss.

Read full, original article: Bees spreading fungicides: Nature’s crop dusters

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

The U.S. averaged fewer than 40,000 new cases per day over the past week. That’s a 21% improvement over the ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists