Feed Bees Well; Improve Pollination
Beeflow, a biotechnology company, has developed a nature-based solution to improve bees’ productivity for crop pollination.
Bees are important to the environment because they pollinate approximately 70% of crops worldwide. They are hard workers and can pollinate billions of plants annually, including millions of agricultural crops and generate an estimated economic value of more than $183,000 globally.
Bees also play an important role in the ecosystem. They support the growth of trees, flowers and other plants and provide food and shelter for all species on the planet.
Unfortunately, bee populations are on the decline for several reasons. The heavy use of commercial agriculture use of pesticides, decreasing crop diversity, and habitat loss are some of the main reasons. Climate change also impacts the decline of bee populations due to wildfires and drought, which can destroy their food sources. Extreme weather conditions may also cause flowers to produce less-nutritious pollen and nectar, which the bees depend on.
As bee populations continue to drop, agricultural companies are looking at ways to improve these conditions through biotechnology. Biotechnology that utilizes natural systems to help improve our lives and the planet’s health.
Beeflow is an Argentina-based startup helping farmers address crop pollination challenges with nature-based solutions. The company has developed a unique nutrient-packed formula for bees, boosting their immune systems and making them more robust in colder temperatures. The feed comprises plant-based molecules from floral nectar and plant hormones, which helps fortify the bees’ immune system and allows the bees to work up to 7 times more than usual.
The formula is fed to bees across 1000 acres of farmland in the US, Mexico, Argentina, and Peru. Compared to traditional farms, these formulas have increased field yield by 32% in blueberry, almond, and raspberry crops! Moreover, on a 9-acre pilot project at a blueberry farm in Aurora, Oregon, Beeflow increased yields by 25% and berry size by 22%. Beeflow is improving the quality of produce, thus reducing food waste and creating new and better sources of income for farmers and beekeepers.
The company has begun testing the formula at a major California almond farmer. Almond farmers have been seeing decreased yields due to the lack of bees needed for pollination. Almonds also have a very short window for pollination – ranging from about two to three weeks. Colder weather has also made it difficult for bees to pollinate the flowers during this time successfully. Beeflow’s formula can significantly impact almond yields and help farmers drastically reduce their farming costs.
Companies like Beeflow that are using biotechnology to combat the effects of climate change safely are helping provide economic, social and environmental value to farmers around the world. Farmers increasing bee health can address crop pollination challenges with these solutions and continue to drive yield and quality without additional chemicals on crops.