Bayer 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.