Mason bee as pollinator alternative to honeybee

Mason bee as pollinator alternative to honeybee

A Northern English biodiversity tech start-up company, AgriSound, has won European funding for a research and development project set to change the pollination of commercial crops to harness the power of mason bees, claiming they will exist sustainably in the wider ecosystem.

In its first international partnership, the cash injection from Eurostars, part of the European Partnership on Innovative SMEs, will see York-based AgriSound working with Swiss sustainable pollination specialists Wildbiene + Partner AG, to harness the mason bees as an alternative to honeybees within orchards.

AgriSound and Wildbiene will each use their funding in the development of commercially deployable mason bee habitats incorporating bio acoustic listening devices. With origins in AgriSound’s POLLYTM, pollinator listening device, the new technology will focus on the mason bee population, as opposed to the long-established pollinator choices of bumble bees or honey bees.

The company claim that a single mason bee has been shown to perform a similar level of pollination when compared to 200 honeybees and due to their solitary lifestyles, they are less susceptible to common diseases which affect beehive colonies.

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Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

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