Mississauga, ON – August 13, 2018 – Bee Vectoring Technologies (“BVT”) (TSXV: BEE) announced today that it has entered a third year of sunflower trials using BVT’s proprietary dispenser system that utilizes bumble bees to efficiently deliver its patented microbial-based organic biofungicide, BVT-CR7 to control fungal disease. In sunflowers the fungal disease sclerotinia causes high levels of crop loss and there are currently no effective, economically viable, treatments.
“We anticipate that this third year of sunflower trails will support the use of our technology as a cost-effective viable solution for the reduction of sclerotinia head rot disease in sunflowers, and will position us well to begin our commercialization efforts for this crop in addition to our expected commercialization in the strawberry market this year,” said Ashish Malik, CEO of BVT. “Sunflowers provide an excellent example of a crop where the economics do not support using foliar spray to deliver of a control agent while delivery using bees is inexpensive and highly effective. The highly specific and selective delivery of organic, naturally sourced, biologic control agents to unique crop locations, such as the flower head, represents a paradigm shift in thinking and the future of farming.”
Top researchers at North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension, will conduct trials at sites near Langdon and Carrington, ND. Trials using BVT’s new honeybee dispenser system will also be conducted in several commercial fields with key growers in Minnesota and North Dakota. Sclerotinia develops deep in the flower head which, in sunflowers, is largely inaccessible to foliar spray applications. Bees, however, can deliver BVT-CR7 at pollination and the control agent maintains its protection as the flower head, and seeds, mature.
“Sunflower growers in North Dakota and Minnesota are looking for tools to manage sclerotinia,” said Dr. Venkat Chapara, Assistant Research Professor of Crop Protection at NDSU’s Langdon Research Extension Center. “For the last two years, trials with the BVT system have given promising results and we are hoping with this third year we can refine the grower use recommendations thus allowing for this technology to be used commercially.”
It is common practice to have multiple seasons of trials before a solution is commercialized in the agricultural inputs industry to fully refine its value proposition given the inherent fluctuations in external conditions. Several factors, including weather, can affect the severity of fungal diseases that attack a crop in any given year and so repeating the crop studies allows to best characterize a product’s effectiveness, in a variety of conditions, to ensure the grower optimizes their crop treatment plan.
Two previous seasons of trial work of the BVT system in sunflowers showed a 47% and 36% reduction (respectively) in disease incidence, and a 20% and 22% reduction in disease severity, of sclerotinia head rot. Additionally, the use of BVT’s system resulted in plants that where healthier, had improved vigor and increased sunflower seed yield of 8% per acre in 2016 (yield measurements were not quantified in 2017).
In the U.S. alone, sunflowers accounts for nearly 1.4 million planted acres for both oil production and confectionary segments. BVT estimates that the market opportunity for its technology in sunflowers is around CAD $30 million annually.
About Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc.
BVT has developed and owns patent-pending bee vectoring technology that is designed to harmlessly utilize bumblebees and honeybees as natural delivery mechanisms for a variety of powdered mixtures comprised of organic compounds that inhibit or control common crop diseases, while at the same time enhancing crop vigor and productivity. This unique and proprietary process enables a targeted delivery of crop controls using the simple process of bee pollination to replace traditional crop spraying, resulting in better yields, superior quality, and less impact on the environment without the use of water or disruptions to labour.
Additional information can be viewed at the Company’s website www.beevt.com
For further information, please contact:
Ashish Malik, President & CEO
Babak Pedram, Investor Relations
Virtus Advisory Group
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Certain statements contained in this press release constitute “forward-looking information” as such term is defined in applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words “may”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “potential”, “will”, “seek”, “intend”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” and similar expressions as they relate to the Company, “annual revenue potential”, are intended to identify forward-looking information. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking information. Such statements reflect the Company’s current views and intentions with respect to future events, and current information available to the Company, and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including: planted acres of sunflowers, selling price of competitive chemical pesticides and the US to Canadian dollar exchange rate. Material factors or assumptions were applied in providing forward-looking information. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking information to vary from those described herein should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize. These factors include changes in law, competition, litigation, the ability to implement business strategies and pursue business opportunities, state of the capital markets, the availability of funds and resources to pursue operations, new technologies, the ability to protect intellectual property rights, the ability to obtain patent protection for products, third-party intellectual property infringement claims, regulatory changes affecting products, failing research and development activities, the ability to reach and sustain profitability, dependence on business and technical experts, the ability to effectively manage business operations and growth, issuance of debt, dilution of existing securities, volatility of publicly traded securities, potential conflicts of interest, unlikelihood of dividend payments, the potential costs stemming from defending third-party intellectual property infringement claims, the ability to secure relationships with manufacturers and purchasers, as well as general economic, market and business conditions, as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in the Company’s Filing Statement dated May 29, 2015, filed with the securities regulatory authorities in certain provinces of Canada and available at www.sedar.com. Should any factor affect the Company in an unexpected manner, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, the actual results or events may differ materially from the results or events predicted. Any such forward-looking information is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. Moreover, the Company does not assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of such forward-looking information. The forward-looking information included in this press release is made as of the date of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, other than as required by applicable law. All figures are in Canadian dollars.