BioBee, a bio-tech company on Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu concentrating on the field of biological pest management in agriculture, has won a massive tender with the International Atomic Energy Agency to supply of 400 million sterile flies, in the wake of a successful similar project last fall.
According to BioBee, the flies will be dispersed in orchards along the border areas of Croatia and Bosnia over a period of several months. The move is expected to result in the reduction of harmful flies in the orchards, thereby helping farmers in Europe to complete a successful growing season.
The company says that the flies were grown in a BioBee lab, and underwent special sterilization at the plant's radioactive facility, which operates under the supervision of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission.
The flies will be taken abroad while still in a pupae state, and be hatched only when they reach their destination. The International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the Israeli company, supports the project as part of its policy of encouraging the use of nuclear technology for non-military aims.
In wining the tender, BioBee beat out a Spanish company that previously carried out the project in the Balkans.
BioBee's Bio-Fly subsidiary aims to combat the threats to agriculture posed by the Mediterranean fruit fly, using natural biological techniques.
It operates with the support of the Israel's Ministry of Agriculture, and twice a week distributes tens of millions of sterile flies in plantations, orchards and fields, especially in the Hevel Habesor region in the northern Negev.
By using the flies, farmers can to reduce the use of toxic pesticides, preserve the environment and provide consumers with a cleaner product.