Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Genetic engineering to protect bees

BeeOLogics is close to developing a genetic spray that will wipe out verroa mites, one of the most significant factors in reducing honey bee populations around the world.

The genetics involves messenger DNA that can kill the mites. It is designed as a crop spray that the mites pick up in the food they eat.

Ironically, Monsanto owns BeeOLogics and is likely to play a key role in helping bee populations survive.

Another branch of Monsanto is being blamed for killing honey bees that are poisoned by its seed-treatment neonicinitoid products.

The Motley Fool publication says some thought when Monsanto bought BeeOLogics that it was trying to silence critics of its pesticides.

However, others say the biotechnology company is an excellent fit with Monsanto’s biotechnology researchers who have developed genetically-engineered crops that can survive weed sprays and can kill crop-munching insects.