Home pagePress monitoringPollen-sized particles give bees immunity to insecticides

Pollen-sized particles give bees immunity to insecticides

Date: 28.5.2021 

The Cornell University scientists developed a microparticle the size of pollen, which can be packed with enzymes that break down and completely detoxify these insecticides before the bee absorbs them.

Kredit: Marie Majaura / Wikimedia Commons.The particles can be mixed into pollen patties or sugar water and fed to the bees, with a protective casing safeguarding the enzymes as they pass through the stomach, which is acidic and would otherwise break them down. They instead travel safely through to the midgut, where digestion takes place, and the enzymes can go to work breaking down and detoxifying the organophosphates.

This was first demonstrated through in vitro experiments and then on live bees in the lab, where the insects were fed both an organophosphate pesticide and the particles, while another control group was administered only the organophosphate pesticide. The scientists observed a 100 percent survival rate in the bees fed the particles, while all the unprotected control bees died in the following days.

“We have a solution whereby beekeepers can feed their bees our microparticle products in pollen patties or in a sugar syrup, and it allows them to detoxify the hive of any pesticides that they might find,” says James Webb, a co-author of the paper and CEO of Beemmunity, a spinoff company that is continuing to work on the technology.





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