HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) — It’s ‘swarm season’ in Texas, a time when Africanized killer bees — the most aggressive of species — look for nesting sites. But a Houston inventor has developed an EPA approved formula that stops bees in their tracks.
Will Baird, the inventor of “BeeAlert”, says that personal tragedy ultimately led him to develop the product. In the summer of 2004, a close friend of his was attacked and killed by a swarm of bees while he mowed his lawn.
“It was such a devastating and senseless loss that I started researching,” said Baird. “I’m not a chemist, but I went to the internet and started searching for relief from this problem. Finally, after maybe six months — after going down lots of dead ends — I came across this simple chemistry that kills and stops attacking bees.”
Baird says the formula consists of purified water and a simple chemistry that is found in toothpaste and shampoo. The solution doesn’t poison the bees, but instead allows water to enter the bee’s breathing canal, effectively drowning the bees.
The product has been approved by the EPA, but did receive some initial resistance that spanned more than two years.
“I had to prove the shelf life and I had to prove that it was effective on specific species of insects,” said Baird.
Though the product is marketed primarily as a bee repellant, Baird says it will work on a number of insects and in a number of applications. That includes mosquitoes, which in North Texas can carry the West Nile Virus.
“I pick up my phone at my business, and the voice on the other end of the line says, ‘you just saved my life.'”
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