Various organisations around the world have placed great importance to ensure the sustainability of the food supply, which is reliant on pollinators such as honey bees, native bees, birds, bats and butterflies. These pollinators, particularly honey bee colonies, are affected as a result of four primary factors: poor nutrition, pathogens, parasites [varroa mites] and insecticides. In recognising the need for non-toxic and renewable-based products to safe-guard against the population decline of honey bees, Emery Oleochemicals, through a recently completed evaluation by an independent testing laboratory, has concluded that the range of fatty acids offered as part of the EMERION™ 7000 and 8000 series are non-toxic and pollinator-friendly.
The EMERION™ 7000 product in itself, currently available in the marketplace, consists of ammonium nonanoate; and has been designed to complement the current portfolio of non-selective herbicide and bioactive ingredients suitable for all crops and home and garden. Also tested was the EMERION™ 8300, which offers natural-based properties through a custom blend of C8, C9 and C10 fatty acids in clay. Further formulations are currently being undertaken for this product.
The evaluation was conducted by an independent and AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care) accredited contract research facility focused on the professional assessment of products in the areas of mammalian and environmental toxicology, animal health, entomology, analytical services, and in vitro studies. The objective of the study was to ascertain the acute contact toxicity of the Emery Oleochemicals’ products when administered to honey bees.
In this test, the colony of Apis mellifera – worker honey bee, that is disease and pest free with no previous pesticide exposure, were observed for a total of 48 hours. The species, selected as part of regulatory guidelines for these types of studies, were carefully tested by experts to ensure there are no significant differences in mortality between the test substance group and the control in bees. Tests results showed that toxicity to be greater than 100 ?g a.i./bee and therefore, non-toxic to honey bees.
Species such as honey bees are said by researchers to be responsible for pollinating around one-third of the world’s crop production. In US alone, honey bees are reported to add more than USD$15bn in value to local agriculture and over USD$29bn annually in Europe. With increasing concern from farmers and the community alike on the collapse of the bee population, industry players are hard pressed to look at alternatives and improvements to current farming practices.
The timely introduction of these new products precedes Emery Oleochemicals’ next effort which is to determine the efficacy of the EMERION™ fatty acid blend in controlling the varroa mite. In addition, the company plans to demonstrate that its natural-based solutions ensure the safety of consumers and the environment – addressing the rising global concern of food production security, sustainability of crop growth and the impact of farming practices on the environment.
With a strong portfolio in renewable agricultural solutions, Emery Oleochemicals’ Agro Green business unit offers a wide range of products with applications ranging from weed and crop management, surfactants, abiotic stress control, solvents, de-suckering agents and herbicides. Currently its trademark portfolio includes EMERION™ , EMERLIFE™ , EMTROL™ and EMEREEN™ with solutions that are additionally OMRI® certified, providing the marketplace with alternative, natural-based solutions that focuses on the need for environmentally responsible agrochemical formulations. Its product innovations provide continued advancements in agricultural productivity, meeting today’s evolving farming practices towards sustainable living.