In what could be a breakthrough where important pollinators are concerned, one company is claiming to have created the very first bee-friendly pesticide.
Organic Laboratories makes organic and earth-friendly gardening products. This spring, it will become the first company to market a pesticide labeled as non-toxic to bees.
According to a press release from the company, Organocide® Bee Safe 3-in-1 Garden Spray has been tested by i2LResearch, a leading product testing center in the UK. The researchers followed EPA test guidelines to evaluate the spray’s acute contact toxicity to honey bees. The insects were exposed at five different rates for 48 hours each.
Here are the findings:
The control group of 250 is the maximum application test rate applied at a full concentration; the average gardener would never use the spray in this capacity. Only 7 of 25 bees survived being exposed to such high levels for 48 hours.
The control group of 6.4 is the label’s application rate, and all 25 bees survived being exposed to it over two days. That means that if gardeners follow the directions on the bottle, important pollinators are very unlikely to be harmed.
The product release comes on the heels of a groundbreaking study that found it is possible to create insecticides that kill pests without harming other beneficial insects.
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal, the 2017 research work discovered that bees, in particular, are resistant to a variety of pesticide called tau-fluvalinate.
It turns out the molecules in bee cells are immune to the effects of tau-fluvalinate but are often destroyed by other pesticides.
It’s About Time!
Protecting the world’s bee population is a must. Over the last 20 years or so, beekeepers around the world have seen a sudden disappearance of colonies. Neonicotinoids that are used in pesticides are one of the leading causes of the phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder.
The European Union has responded by banning the use of all neonicotinoids in the outdoor environment. In the U.S., the EPA has restricted their use while bees are present. In Canada, many large cities like Vancouver and Montreal have banned use within their limits, and the province of Quebec has applied stringent rules where the application is concerned.
There is more awareness today about the dangers conventional pesticides pose, and we also know more about just how hard-working the bee population is.
According to SOS Bees, a third of the world’s food crops directly depend on bees for pollination. Three-quarters of the world’s flowering plants do the same. Imagine the effect on food production and the planet as a whole if we don’t change our ways and protect the bees?
This new product could be a start.