The American agribusiness giant Monsanto has just unveiled the first transgenic bee able to withstand massive spraying of neonicotinoid pesticides.El artículo traducido al Español está disponible aquí
Neonicotinoid insecticides are toxic substances mainly used in agriculture to protect plants (plant protection products). Their low biodegradability, persistent toxic effect and dissemination in nature pose significant problems in terms of damage to living species, such as bees, that were obviously not specifically targeted.
Many bee-keepers consider these molecules to be one of the possible causes of the bee colony collapse disorder.
Spurred on by a strong commitment to bio-diversity and a constant concern to promote and protect our environment, the High-Tech laboratories of the American company Monsanto have thus just created the first transgenic bee totally resistant to neonicotinoid-based pesticides.
“This bee will be able to withstand the spraying of pesticides at doses seven times higher than the maximum values currently permitted by regulations”, said the company’s Head of Research.
As a patent has been filed for the transgenic bee, the genetic capital of insects has been modified so that hives can no longer develop queen bees, even if larvae are fed royal jelly. The Monsanto Company offers various rates for the purchase of transgenic queen bees tailored to the specific needs of bee-keepers (hives with 500, 5000, or 50,000 bees).