Bee Vectoring Technologies gets strong endorsement from Georgia blueberry growers

Image of bumble bee boxes.

(Yahoo Finance) “BVT continues to positively impact our blueberry operations. We had very high fruit set despite poor weather conditions at times. 2020 will definitely be the highest production year for us and we will continue to use BVT for years to come,” said a co-founder of Major League Blueberries. Up next for BVT is the berry season in the Pacific Northwest.

Bee Vectoring Technologies contracts with three new growers to kick-start us west coast expansion

Image of people in field.

(Yahoo Finance) Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. announced that it has closed three new grower deals with berry producers in Oregon and Washington states. These new customers will use BVT’s proprietary bee delivery system for fungicides on portions of their blueberry and raspberry crops in the upcoming growing season. These new deals also mark the first commercial use of BVT’s recently announced patent-pending computer-controlled honey bee hive dispenser system.

Winner of ISU Three Minute Thesis is grad student who studies bees

Image of presenter on stage.

(videtteonline) The Three Minute Thesis is a research communication competition that challenges master’s and Ph.D. students to describe their research topic and its significance in just three minutes to a general audience. This year’s first-place winner is Austin C. Calhoun, whose thesis is focused on the interactive impact of a fungicide and parasite on bumble bee health.

Stingless bee species depend on a complex fungal community to survive

Image of stingless bee.

(FAPESP) A new study shows that the larvae of the Brazilian stingless bee Scaptotrigona depilis depend on interactions between three different species of fungus to complete their development and reach adulthood. “The new findings demonstrate that the interactions between these social insects and their microbiota are much more complex than we can imagine. This should serve as a warning against the indiscriminate use of pesticides in agriculture, since many are lethal to fungi.”

There’s a new group of workers spreading organic pesticide on crops: bees

Image of bee boxes next to field.

(Fast Company) Bees are great at retrieving tiny cargo: their main job is to visit flowering plants in order to gather pollen and nectar for their hive. Now Bee Vectoring Technologies just received EPA approval for an organic fungicide that bees can carry directly from hive to crop. The company has used this system in commercial-size test fields to reduce gray mold on strawberries while increasing yields by at least 10%, and eliminate gray mold and the more nefarious monilinia blight in blueberries. The company projects that it can reduce pesticide use by 50 to 75 percent at conventional farms that are willing to widely adopt the new practice.

Microbes on the menu for bee larvae

Image of bee brood in cells.

(Phys.org/USDA) Nature’s famously busy insect isn’t strictly vegan after all. A team of Agricultural Research Service and university scientists has shown that bee larvae have a taste for “microbial meat.” In fact, the team observed an appetite for microbial meat among brood that spanned 14 species distributed across all major families of social and solitary bees—Melittidae, Apidae and Megachilidae among them. The findings underscore the need to examine what effects fungicide use on flowering crops can have on the microbial make up of pollen fed to brood and, in turn, their development. The research on bee larvae consumption of “microbial meat” can be found here.

New Xerces fact sheet takes a deeper look at fungicides and their effects on pollinators

Graphic showing how fungicides can impact the health of pollinators.

(Xerces Society) Research has shown that some fungicides kill bees on contact. Studies have shown that some fungicides increase the toxic effects of certain insecticides. Fungicide exposure has also been linked to higher levels of parasitic and viral infections in honey bee colonies, suggesting that some fungicides may impair a bee’s ability to fight disease. The Xerces Society’s new fact sheet, “Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators”, reviews the current literature on fungicides and pollinators to help piece together potential risks and how best to respond.