New insecticide out with bee
A NOVEL formulation of one of the worlds leading insecticides is set to benefit operators, bees, beneficial insects and the environment, with no downturn in efficacy.
So-called Zeon technology is being used to encase minute droplets of lambda-cyhalothrin, the active ingredient in Zenecas Hallmark. The polymer-coated droplets are so small that over thirty would be needed to match the thickness of a human hair. The polymer coating remains intact until the spray dries, only then releasing the active ingredient, explains Tanya Wright, insecticide specialist for Zeneca.
The result is a step change in operator safety, says product manager, Jenna Lewis. Gone are Hallmark ECs old label warnings of "harmful in contact with skin or if swallowed", "irritating to eyes and skin" and "flammable". Hallmark Zeons only warnings are "harmful if swallowed" and "may cause sensitisation by skin contact". But protective clothing is still required.
With no impact on foraging bees, Hallmark Zeon is the first pyrethroid to be endorsed by the British BeeKeepers Association. But speedy dispersal on leaf surfaces means no loss of aphid knockdown and rainfastness is in one hour.
A water rather than solvent base reduces odour and allows a doubling of the concentration, so packs go twice as far. To minimise over-dosing packs are now white with strong Zeon branding.
Control may also benefit, Zeneca believes. A UV protector has boosted persistence by up to 25% in sunny parts of the US. So far no benefit is claimed for the UK. "We expect it but have not seen it yet," says the companys Peter Clarke. Using a single autumn BYDV spray where two were required before may be possible, he suggests.
Hallmark is more persistant than alternative pyrethroids anyway, he adds, providing up to 70% control of summer aphids in winter wheat seven days after treatment compared with less than 30% and 10% for deltamethrin and cypermethrin.
To coincide with the launch of bee-friendly Hallmark Zeon, Zeneca has sponsored a British BeeKeepers Association teaching pack for primary schools. Supporting key stage 1 and 2 science, English and maths it costs £15 from BBKA (01203 696679).