Bayer tests new seed treatments to protect honeybees

11/19/2013 10:17:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

Vicky BoydBayer CropScience has successfully completed field trials of a new seed treatment technology that significantly reduces dust compared to traditional seed treatments.

That's important because pesticide-laden dust from seed treatments is suspected to contribute to honeybee population declines, according to a news release.

The treatment, which is used on field crops such as corn, uses a polyethylene wax substrate. Traditional seed treatment uses talc and graphite lubricants. It acts as a carrier for pesticides, such as neonicotinoids, used to control soilborne seed pests.

In laboratory tests, the Bayer product reduced dust and emissions by 90 percent compared wit talk.

It reduced emissions by 60 percent compared with graphite.

In addition, field trials showed equivalent results but significantly lower use rates than talc.

In related news, Bayer opened the 1,200-square-foot Clayton Bee Care Training Center near Clayton, N.C., Nov. 18.

The facility will house researchers who will study honeybee health.

It also includes a wintering cold room and bee hive maintenance areas.

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mt  |  November, 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

How about not treating seeds with anything! Bayer's, Bee Care Training Center is a joke. We need independent studies done on Honeybees. Not studies backed by Bayer or Monsanto.

colorado  |  November, 19, 2013 at 09:31 PM

Agreed. Get rid of the insecticides

John R. French    
Marietta, Georgia  |  November, 22, 2013 at 07:53 PM

Jane, a serious and better educated commenter would have posted a suggestion such as the following: In order to reduce unnecessary use of insecticides, a concerted effort should be placed on the development and deployment of genetically engineered crop plants that would resist insect and disease attack. Success in this direction has been attained with field corn, however many more insect/crop interactions beg for resolution through the use of GMO technology. We urge governmental and corporate research on GMO with the objective of mitigating insect and disease infestations that not only threaten yields pre-harvest but contribute to myriad post-harvest losses in volume and quality of the worlds food supplies.

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