Israel’s BioBee To Ship 500 Million ‘Predatory Bugs’ To Russia
Israeli company BioBee Biological Systems will ship 500 million “predatory bugs” to Russia to help its farmers get rid of pests – the natural way.
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By employing predatory bugs that attack and kill harmful insects, BioBee has developed a technique free of chemicals. Already, their solution is being deployed in farms across 50 countries, including Colombia, where BioBee shipped 600 million spider mites.
Also dubbed “Bio Persimilis,” these spiders are as big as the spider mites they chase, about one or two millimeters long. They move quickly, hunt their prey and pierce it, sucking out its fluids.
The predatory bugs shipped to Russia – including Bio Persimilis, as well as other mites – “have been shown to benefit agriculture, eliminating pests in tomato and cucumber fields, as well as in rose fields,” the company said on Sunday. It added: “BioBee is helping Russia exterminate pests in a natural way, without harmful toxins.”
Bumblebees were also sent to Russia in order to encourage pollination of vegetables. In addition, the bees sent from Israel will be deployed in cherry orchards across Russia.
The natural enemies of harmful pests
Founded in 1984 in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, BioBee’s facility mass-produces the natural enemies of harmful pests by harvesting spiders, flies and bees for various purposes.
Selling its products to 50 countries worldwide, including India, Chile and South Africa, BioBee‘s spiders are said to cost about $180 – more than four times the price of gold ($42 per gram)!
The company maintains that this is a good investment for farmers, who may otherwise be limited in exporting crops that were sprayed with chemical pesticides, which are limited by international regulations.
Benefiting public health
Bred by BioBee, the Persimilis spider can keep pests under control in several crops; such as peppers, tomatoes, beans, maize, cucumber, melon, strawberries and eggplant. Contrary to other mites, Persimilis is said not to cause harm to the plants it protects.
Experts have long advocated for a decrease in the use of aggressive chemical pesticides, to benefit public health. In addition, pesticides damage the environment, pollute the water and air in their surroundings, as they are easily carried by the wind.
Another reason to reduce the use of pesticides is that, with time, pests develop resistance to extensive pesticide use. This encourages farmers to use more and more pesticides, while generations of powerful super-bugs proliferate.
Reducing pesticides by 80 percent
The alternative provided by BioBee is inspired by what is called in the scientific literature “the biological control phenomenon,” which is the natural balance of the “good bugs” eating the “bad bugs.”
The impact of this method has been measured on crops in Israel, yielding impressive results, according to BioBee: On sweet pepper crops, it reduced the use of pesticides by 75 percent; and on strawberry crops, they were reduced by 80 percent.