GENETICALLY ENGINEERING A NEONICOTINOID DEGRADING BACTERIA TO COMBAT BEE MORTALITY

Revolutionizing Conservation and Beekeeping

80%

of all pollination has been provided by honey bees (Apis mellifera).

#1

Neonicotinoid is the most used pesticide on the market.

40%

 of the loss of honey bee colonies in a 2019 study is due to neonicotinoid.

A GLOBAL CRISIS.

Between April 2020 to April 2021, beekeepers across the United States lost nearly 50% of their honey bee (Apis Mellifera). colonies due to various factors with neonicotinoids playing a significant role. With the decimation of the honey bee population, pollination and cultivation of everyday produce will be impacted– putting communities across the globe at risk of food insecurity.​

NEONICOTINOID EFFECTS ON BEES

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  • Neonicotinoids reach the pollen and nectar of plants through their vascular tissue

  • Acts on the central nervous system of bees after ingestion

    • Irreversibly binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChrS), causing overstimulation

  • Sublethal effects include: impairing flight and navigation, reducing taste sensitivity, and lowering retention of learning new tasks

WHAT HONEY BEES PROVIDE
FOOD SECURITY
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While some crops are not dependent on honey bees, many have dependency and a decrease in pollinators would be followed by lowered yield. Over 2 billion people globally are suffering from malnutrition, meaning a solution is needed to preserve pollinator diversity while simultaneously maximizing agricultural yields.

BIODIVERSITY
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Honey bees carry pollen from flower to flower to fertilize plants. These fertilized plants in return ensure the surrounding habitat continue to thrive.  A stable environment creates the possibility of development of specialization and the use of narrow ecological niches. To adapt to environmental changes, there is need for constant mix of genes for the plans which is through cross-pollination.

SUSTAINABILITY
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Bee pollination improves the nutritional value, quality, and shelf life of many fruits and vegetables, potentially reducing food waste due to cosmetic flaws.  Beekeeping can be an important strategy for livelihood diversification, as it can directly contribute to higher per capita, household income, and fiscal opportunities (such as tourism).