Original Article Source: Fruit Growers News
Bee Vectoring Technologies Expands into Georgia Blueberries
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada-based Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (BVT) has expanded the pilot launch of its proprietary bee-based technology used for increased plant health and marketable yield into the Georgia blueberry market, following its successful launch in the Florida strawberry market.
Last season, BVT conducted grower demonstrations in the Georgia blueberry market with growers seeing positive results. Additionally, after hearing about the innovative approach taken by BVT to increase yield, some growers, such as Major League Blueberries (MLB) located near Nicholls, Georgia, contacted BVT to conduct blueberry trials with the BVT system on their own farm.
Founded in 2015, MLB is a preeminent highbush blueberry farm in America, growing both conventional and organic blueberries. With last season’s trial success, MLB has moved to using the BVT system for a portion of their commercial production this season.
“The BVT system is both organic and sustainable, making it an excellent fit with our vision to develop healthy highbush blueberry plants, and provide the best tasting blueberries possible to our customers,” said Winn Morgan co-founder of MLB and a leading blueberry expert. “We pride ourselves on being a differentiated blueberry enterprise and if the BVT system can help us increase yields and reduce our use of pesticides, then it is a win for us and more importantly a benefit for our customers. There is good technology in farming, some great technology, and then there are game changers. This technology is a brilliant game changer.”
Georgia grows around 16,000 of the nearly 300,000 acres of blueberries that are cultivated in the United States and Canada with total farm gate value of US$1.1 billion. Blueberry production in North America represents 54% of the worldwide cultivation of the crop with key growing regions including the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia in Canada, Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Michigan, California, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida in the U.S.
“Adding blueberries to our growing list of crops we serve is a significant milestone for BVT as we expand our system into new crops and geographies,” said Ashish Malik, President and CEO of BVT. “With the commercial success of BVT’s bumblebee system established, we will look to accelerate into full commercial sales in the coming season, providing growers a greater amount of flexibility for sustainable production practices.”
BVT’s system uses commercially reared bees to carry plant protection or yield-enhancement products directly to key areas of target plants – using significantly less product than required with traditional spray applications, while also reducing consumption of water and fossil fuels.
BVT is pursuing trials in other blueberry growing regions including the Pacific Northwest, Michigan and New Jersey. In addition to blueberries, BVT’s system is used commercially by strawberry growers in the U.S. with additional trial working being conducted throughout North America to prove its efficacy in other crops.
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 labor.