Original Article Source: AgroPages
Biopesticides: Industry Merging with Opportunities, Market Growing through Challenges
Article By: Joyce Wang
The delivery of biopesticide by bees has been applied by American growers since 2019. Bees carrying biopesticide can deliver the product on crops during pollination, and effectively control pests. Commercially reared bees are used to pollinate crops, especially for many greenhouse crops, and now, the bee-delivery system gives bees dual roles and helps growers reduce the costs of chemical pesticides, water, fuel and labor.
The biopesticide used in bee-delivery system was developed by Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (BVT). The patented Clonostachys rosea (CR-7) from the company was approved by the US EPA in 2019 for use as a fungicide on commercial crops. CR-7 is the first registered active ingredient of BVT and the first active ingredient approved by the EPA for application via bees. Vectorite™ containing CR-7 received OMRI organic certification in 2017. The product is applied to control significant crop-destroying diseases such as Sclerotinia, Botrytis, Monilinia, Anthracnose and Alternaria, and mitigate the risk of pathogen resistance to pesticides. The product is labeled for various high-value crops, e.g. strawberries, blueberries, sunflowers and almonds. Organic strawberry growers in Florida became the first users of Vectorite™ after it was approved.
The bee-delivery system works by having bumblebees walk through a specialist dispenser tray with Vectorite™ before leaving their hive and delivering spores of CR-7 to each plant they visit during their natural pollination. The technology can effectively control harmful organisms invading inside or around flowers with a specific target and thus largely reduce the use of pesticides compared with traditional spraying.
The process has been through extensive field tests over the last decade. Its natural biopesticide is harmless to bees, human beings and the environment, and can increase the yield and prolong the shelf life of produce. The introduction of this technology marks a groundbreaking shift in the way organic plant protection products are applied.
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