Bee Vectoring Technologies Sees Strong Endorsement From Georgia Blueberry Growers After Exceptional Preliminary Results
Mississauga, ON Canada and Sacramento, CA USA (April 21, 2020) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (TSXV: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE:BEE) today announced that, with Georgia’s blueberry blooming period now complete, growers in the region using the Company’s proprietary crop protection system have reported notably-high fruit set and low fruit drop, both typical early indicators of a successful, high-yield harvest.
“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 Winn Morgan, Co-founder of Major League Blueberries (MLB) and a leading blueberry expert.
“This was our first experience with the BVT system, and we are very pleased with what we saw,” said John Bennett of Alma Sunbelt Blueberries, a leading Georgia blueberry grower who farms 355 acres of highbush and rabbiteye. “We are encouraged with the results on our highbush farm and we are going to use the BVT system next year.”
“We are hearing from growers like MLB and Alma Sunbelt that BVT’s natural precision agriculture system is mitigating the long-standing issue of early fruit drop in highbush blueberries,” said Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. “More berries making it to maturity mean higher yields. Feedback from growers who used our system on a combined 750 acres this season has been extremely positive and clearly associated the high fruit set they have seen with use of the BVT system.”
In conventional commercial crops, growers traditionally control disease with chemical pesticide sprays. Now they are adding BVT’s natural, 100% organic, precision agriculture system, which uses biological pesticide alternatives delivered directly to blueberry flowers by commercially grown bees. This is improving yields, protecting against disease and reducing the use of water and fossil fuels, all while using a fraction of the product required with traditional spray applications.
“The Georgia growers who piloted our system this season farm on a combined total of about 3,000 acres,” said Mr. Malik. “Most are first-time users, and based on this initial success, we anticipate they’ll progressively add BVT across their entire operations over the next two to three seasons.”
Up next for BVT is the berry season in the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest and Southeastern regions of the US have a combined 60,000(1) acres of cultivated highbush blueberries, representing two-thirds of the 90,000(2) acre US market. With the blooming period in Georgia now complete, harvesting will occur through May and into June. Right now, the blooming period has just started in Oregon, and in Washington state it starts in early May. Yield reports will be compiled after harvesting closes for each region, as the growing season progresses geographically across the US.
The Company also announced that it has issued an aggregate of 50,000 restricted share units of the Company (“RSUs”) to two consultants of the Company under the Company’s shareholder approved restricted share unit plan (the “RSU Plan”) as an incentive for the consultants to drive the growth of the Company. The RSUs vest on the 30th day from grant and entitle the holder to acquire one common share (a “Common Share”) of the Company underlying each such RSU by delivering a notice of acquisition to the Company in accordance with the RSU Plan.
In accordance with the RSU Plan, the RSUs were priced at $0.445 based on the closing price of the Common Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange on April 15, 2020.
(1) (2) Source: USDA, 2018 Agricultural Statistics Annual
BVT, an agriculture technology company, is a market disruptor with a significant global market opportunity in the $240 billion crop protection and fertilizer market. BVT has pioneered a natural precision agriculture system that replaces chemical pesticides and wasteful plant protection product spray applications by delivering biological pesticide alternatives to crops using commercially grown bees. BVT’s award-winning technology, precision vectoring, is completely harmless to bees and allows minute amounts of naturally-derived pesticides (called biologicals) to be delivered directly to blooms, providing improved crop protection and yield results than traditional chemical pesticides – and improving the health of the soil, the microbiome and the environment. Currently, BVT has over 65 granted patents, over 35 patents pending in all major agricultural countries worldwide, and has US EPA registration of its VECTORITE™ with CR-7 (EPA Registration No. 90641-2) for sale as a registered biological fungicide for use on the labeled crops.
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 strawberries in Florida, 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.