There was quite a stir among beekeepers and anti-GMO activists last fall when chemical and seed giant Monsanto purchased Beeologics, a small company best known for its “groundbreaking research” applying RNAi technology to honeybees, a process that blocks gene expression. This was Monsanto’s first acquisition of a pest control biotech company.
Since its inception in 2007, Beeologics has been developing Remebee®, an anti-viral treatment for use in honeybees affected with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a bee-specific virus which originated from Australia and was found and named in Israel in 2002.
President and CEO Eyal Ben-Chanoch explained in 2008 that Beeologics was assembling scientists, beekeepers and business people “to create the missing corporate support” in an industry that traditionally has only been supported by a few hardware manufacturers. Sure, there were hives, tools, bee suits and the like being offered, but very little had been invested in technology and medicine for the bees — until Beeologics came along, that is.… Read the rest