Insects to Fight Insects

Dr. Shimon Steinberg, the R&D manager at the Israeli company Bio-Bee, is helping nature overcome the damage brought on by chemical pest control.

By Israel Today Staff |
Photo: Shutterstock

He is using fast-moving insects like the predatory mite to combat the spider mite, an extremely harmful agricultural pest. The two-millimeter long creature is his company’s best seller worldwide.

“Sixty percent of California strawberries since 1990 are treated with this predatory mite from the Holy Land,” Steinberg says proudly.

The firm is located at Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu (Elijah’s Field) in Galilee. It provides insect killers to 32 countries, including Russia to which 500 million such bugs have been shipped to fight pests attacking crops.

A subsidiary, BioFly, produces sterile male Mediterranean fruit flies which when released push out the non-sterile variety. This technique was pioneered by the company in 2004. BioFly is working with Jordanian and Palestinian Authority agricultural experts to export these flies to other Mediterranean countries.

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