New ‘superfood’ makes bees better pollinators—boosting crop yields up to 90%

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Image: Hamiltonian

Argentina-based startup Beeflow has developed a special nutrient-packed formula for bees meant to boost their immune systems and make them stronger to work better in colder temperatures. According to CEO Matias Viel, it enables bees to do seven times more flights in cold temperatures than they ordinarily would be able to without the formula.

That’s a massive uptick amid a dramatic decline in the bee population that’s threatening the almost $20 billion bees contribute to US crop production annually ….

[Editor’s note: Read The world faces ‘pollinator collapse’? How and why the media get the science wrong time and again to learn more.]

Beekeepers feed the bees the plant-based formula, which contains sugar, water and proprietary ingredients, about once a week. In February 2019, the company started testing the formula at a major California almond farmer. Almond farmers, who are planting more almond trees to keep up with surging demand for the nut, are especially struggling to get enough bees to pollinate their crops.

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

Results from the almond trial are still being analyzed, but Beeflow said it has seen success in Argentina by increasing crop yields for almonds, blueberries, apples and kiwis by up to 90%. The company also made the size of blueberries at a farm in Oregon last winter increase by 22%.

Read full, original article: This startup is saving crops by making ‘super bees’

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