ARE BEES THE BET­TER PES­TI­CIDE?

iD magazine - - Questions & Answers -

Ev­ery day farm­ers spray pes­ti­cides on their crops to pro­tect them from in­sects and dis­eases. In the U.S. alone, over 1 bil­lion tons of pes­ti­cides are used per year. But that could soon be­come a thing of the past, be­cause a com­pany called Bee Vec­tor­ing Tech­nol­ogy has found a nat­u­ral al­ter­na­tive to pes­ti­cide: bees. A spe­cial­ized tray con­tain­ing or­ganic pes­ti­cide made of a pow­dered fun­gus is placed at the en­trance of a bee­hive. As they exit the hive the in­sects brush up against the pow­der, which is to­tally harm­less to them. They carry it on their fuzzy bod­ies and dis­trib­ute it to the lo­cal flow­ers, thereby in­oc­u­lat­ing their even­tual fruit against dis­eases. It takes 300 bees and 18 grams of the pow­der to pro­tect around 10 mil­lion plants.

The hon­ey­bee can reach a top speed of 20 miles per hour dur­ing its ex­cur­sions. To achieve such ve­loc­ity, its wings beat ap­prox­i­mately 12,000 times per minute. Ju­ve­nile worker bees will spend the be­gin­ning of their ca­reers as brood nurses tend­ing to the...

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