To the moon and back

No, you are not mistaken… our bumblebees are on track to become the first in space! While the bumblebee Bombus impatiens is doing a great job on North American soil, its flight continues in another direction. NASA is conducting scientific research using Bombus impatiens to contribute to food supply in space.

As well as providing nourishment on earth, plants could provide a balanced diet on the Moon or Mars. Environmental and atmospheric conditions differ there, compared to here on earth, so growing fruit and vegetables is not likely to be easy. Although spacemen opt for space food, research suggests that several fruit and vegetable species, like tomatoes and melons, might grow under reduced pressure. For successful production, natural pollinators will be required and that is where our bumblebees come into play – or rather into space.  

With research central to Biobest’s ethos, Biobest Canada jumped at the opportunity to provide NASA with bumblebees for this revolutionary research. This work has already proved that our little creatures continue to do a good job under conditions of reduced pressure - one of the difficulties they will encounter in space.

While the early signs are encouraging, there is still plenty more research to come. For the moment, you won’t find yourself spotting bumblebees with your stargazer, but who knows what the future will bring. Yuri Gagarin might be the first man is space, but we at Biobest are confident that our bumblebees will be the first to fly into space.

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