Food

Beneficial Bugs Reduce the use of Pesticides

BioBee breeds insects that do the work of harmful pesticides by attacking the pests that damage crops. These insects are bred and grown at BioBee’s facilities and include predatory mites, ladybugs and wasps. They are then shipped to farmers worldwide to be deployed as biological pest control in their fields.

Using its ‘Sterile Insect Technique’, through which sterilised males fruit flies are released into infected fields to progressively outcompete the fertile male population, the company reports that it can reduce 70% of chemicals needed to control Mediterranean fruit fly populations that harm citrus, fruit and olive trees. BioBee also offers natural pollination in the form of large quantities of earth bumblebees, which are packed in hives designed especially for easy deployment in fields. This approach can reportedly result in a 25% increase in crop yields compared to manual pollination.

Why you should care

The use of pesticides has been associated with loss of wildlife and biodiversity in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Pesticides also contribute to groundwater contamination. The emergence of pests that have developed resistance to common pesticides is also an issue of great concern. Consequently, reducing dependence on pesticides through the use of insects as biological pest control represents an opportunity to develop more sustainable food systems.

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