Pollination from honeybees, valued at $18 billion just in the US, is essential for many crops.
Credit; Michael Palmer / Wikimedia Commons
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However, bees tend to pollinate close to the beehive, creating a need for enhanced pollination the further away one gets. ISCA Technologies uses nature identical semiochemicals—like pheromones, plant volatiles, flower oils, sugars and proteins—to create effective tools that modify insect behavior.
ISCA APIS® BLOOM is the company’s proprietary bee pollination enhancer that is helping growers to increase production of numerous crops, including apples, nuts, all kinds of berries, coffee, avocado, even coconuts. The product is applied directly to the crop and it steadily releases a volatiles blend derived from the Nasonov pheromone. Worker bees release this pheromone to announce other foraging bees that they have discovered productive sources of pollen and nectar in the vicinity.
Honey bee on flower with pollen collected on rear leg
Raspberry fields treated with APIS BLOOM had a 14.9 percent higher yield when compared to untreated neighboring fields. This resulted in an increase of 175 pounds of raspberries per acre.
Other bees spend more time pollinating flowers in that area. APIS BLOOM comes on the heels of another hugely successful SBIR that uses the same SPLAT® platform formulation technology, and targets mountain pine beetles. SPLAT Verb is a non-toxic alternative to pesticides that functions by turning one of the beetle’s most formidable weapons against it—its sensitivity and responsiveness to chemical cues in its environment, especially during selection of a suitable host tree.
SPLAT Verb was found to protect 100 percent of the treated trees from mountain pine beetle attacks in a control study. Meanwhile there was a 93 percent mortality rate on the other trees that hadn’t been protected.
ISCA has found worldwide demand for its product suite of natural insect repellants, mating disruption technologies, insect attractants, and monitoring devices for smarter pest management.
In addition to the U.S., ISCA has set up distribution of APIS BLOOM within Israel, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Italy, France, South Africa, Middle East and India.