WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BeesFree, Inc. (BEES), reports it is bringing-to-market an organically-engineered, patent-pending, honeybee feeding formulation that is a scientific breakthrough proven to arrest the deadly effects of colony collapse disorder.
"BeesVita Plus is a concentrated solution that is introduced to the honeybees' water supplies," says David Todhunter, BeesFree's chief executive officer. "Studies show when honeybees drink BeesVita Plus they become healthier, stronger and more resistant to various illnesses and CCD."
Colony Collapse Disorder
CCD is the widespread disappearance of honeybee colonies. Inexplicably, after foraging, worker bees fail to return to their hives. CCD is a global epidemic threatening the production of crops dependent on bees for pollination and honey harvesting. In the U.S., honeybee pollination is responsible for $15 billion in added crop value, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
EPA Denies Petition
BeesFree's product announcement comes in the wake of last Thursday's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's denial of a petition requesting emergency suspension of clothianidin, a neonicotinoid pesticide. The petition was filed by 25 entomological, environmental and beekeeping groups that contend the pesticide is an "imminent hazard" linked to honeybee colony collapse disorder.
Causes of CCD
The causes of CCD are widely-debated. Theories include emerging diseases; paralyzing viruses; weakened immune systems; Nosema microsporidian parasite gut infections; hive invasions by destructive Varro parasitic mites; bee management stress, inadequate forage, poor nutrition and exposure to neonicotinoid-based insecticides.
Scientifically-Engineered by Woman Biochemist
"BeesVita Plus is composed of scientifically-engineered, natural components proven to contrast neonicotinoids' side effects on honeybees," says BeesFree's chief scientist and BeesVita Plus inventor Dr. Francesca del Vecchio. "The solution also contains antimicrobial agents and compounds to fight viruses and its interaction with Nosema parasite. Plus, it has powerful nutrients and antioxidants."
Scientifically-Engineered by Woman Biochemist
Dr. del Vecchio is an internationally-recognized biochemist specializing in DNA sequencing techniques used in genetic therapy and molecular biology. She earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry at Cambridge University, UK and has worked in the public and private research and development sector for 18 years.
"A three year study conducted in Italy's agriculturally-rich Tuscany region, where CCD has ravaged billions of honeybees, concluded that colonies fed BeesVita Plus not only survived but thrived," explains del Vecchio. "When BeesVita Plus was introduced to specific honeybee colonies, their populations increased by as much as 50 percent, compared to colonies that were not fed BeesVita Plus, which experienced a 40 percent population decrease."
Soon-to-Be Available Scientific Breakthrough
CCD was first described by University of Florida entomologists in 2006. Worldwide, beekeepers reported drastic decreases in colony populations, ranging from 30 to 90 percent. Since then, there has been no effective weapon against CCD, until now.
"BeesVita Plus is expected to be available in the U.S. as soon as this autumn," says Todhunter. "Already, BeesFree is accepting orders from Argentinian, Italian, Slovakian and South African companies and government agencies."
Todhunter adds, "BeesFree is currently identifying U.S. university department of entomology honeybee labs to conduct more studies." He explains, "U.S. field studies will be conducted to further validate current, conclusive findings but they are not mandatory."
Since BeesVita Plus is an animal food product that contains known components that are generally-regarded as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, the product does not require further analysis or complex regulatory processes, according to Todhunter.
Protests Over Paralyzing Pesticides
Neonicotinoid-based pesticides contain nicotine-related chemicals. The pesticide attacks the central nervous system causing fatal paralysis. Researchers believe, along with pollen, the pesticide clings to honeybees' bodies. Once the pesticide saturates bees' bodies it quickly attacks the brain, causing confusion and neurological disorders. The bees cannot navigate their way to the colony. Paralysis sets-in. Death soon follows.
France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia have already suspended use of neonicotinoid-based pesticides.
Several U.S. universities, including Harvard, Illinois and Purdue, have published studies that conclude these pesticides contribute to CCD.
Whilst the EPA has denied the petition calling for the suspension of clothianidin, the agency says in September it will "seek independent scientific peer review on how to better assess the risks of pesticides to pollinators."
Beekeepers are instructed to mix BeesVita Plus concentrate with water. One liter of the concentrated formula produces 10 liters of the specially-engineered solution. It can feed up to 10 hives, approximately 1,000,000 bees during a 30 day period.
BeesVita Plus is priced at $70 USD per liter. A discount applies to bulk orders.
The solution is poured onto a feeding pan, located on the top of a specially-designed electronic dispenser known as the BeeSpenser.
The BeeSpenser is four feet tall, two feet wide and weighs about 45 pounds when it is full.
The BeeSpenser is equipped with wheels for easy field maneuverability. The exterior of the BeeSpenser is camouflaged with specific geometric shapes and colors that traditionally attract bees to the locations where they most frequently drink water.
The exterior of the BeeSpenser is camouflaged with specific geometric shapes and colors that traditionally attract bees to the locations where they most frequently drink water.
Powered by a rechargeable battery, the BeeSpenser is equipped with vapor-emitting fans that spread Vita Plus' scent across a wide area, thus, attracting bees to the feeding pan.
Once a few bees drink from the BeeSpenser they return to the hive, conveying the find. Eventually, the bees swarm the pan, drawing the solution into their bodies.
The BeeSpenser is priced at $350 USD per unit.
Roman R&D Labs / West Palm Beach HQs
BeesVita Plus was first formulated and is currently produced in the company's research and development laboratories in Rome, Italy. The company's global headquarters is located in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.
BeesFree will be produced and packaged at existing, independent manufacturing plants in the U.S. and overseas.
BeesFree's primary clients are government agriculture agencies and large private beekeeping operators. Beekeepers typically transport hives to farms and unleash the bees for crop pollination.
BeesFree guarantees Vita Plus' efficacy. The company pledges that it will replace any bees, fed Vita Plus, lost to CCD, as long as the beekeeper used the product as directed.
Information about BeesVita Plus and the BeeSpenser is available at www.BeesFree.biz.
Some Common Crops Requiring Honeybee Pollination
- Alfalfa - Almonds - Apples - Apricots - Asparagus - Avocados - Beans - Berries - Broccoli -
- Carrot - Cantaloupe - Cabbage - Celery - Cherries - Citrus - Cotton - Cucumber - Eggplant -
- Grapes - Guava - Honeydew - Kiwifruit - Legume Seed - Macadamia - Mango - Nectarines -
- Nuts - Okra - Olives - Onions - Peaches - Pears - Plums - Pumpkins - Pomegranate -
- Rapeseed - Sesame - Soybeans - Sugar Beets - Sunflowers - Squash - Watermelons -
SOURCE BeesFree, Inc.