We stopped on our travels for a breakfast at the amazing Kibbutz Sedi Eliyahu which has a focus on organic solutions to modern agricultural problems. Yossi explained about the Barn owls' nesting box scheme which had effectively reduced the rodent problem in the the Kibbutz and surrounding areas. This approach which has been in use for many years is seen as an exemplar and has been adopted across the border in Jordan too.
The biological pest control project using Barn Owls and Kestrels effectively reduces the use of poisons by farmers in their battle against rodents and other pests.
More than 3,000 (!) nesting boxes have been erected all over the country for the Barn Owls and the Kestrels. The professional team of the project monitors the Barn Owls and Kestrels in the nesting boxes, rings them and follows them. This helps the farmers immensely. The project also conducts instructional programs for the farming community.
The project, which was initiated by the birding centers in cooperation with Kibbutz Sedi Eliyahu, has now become a highly successful national project. The Arab sector in Israel has also begun to work with the Barn Owls, overcoming the traditional belief that Barn Owls bring bad luck. There has also been cooperation with Jordan and the Palestinian Authorities.
The Kibbutz's main business however is the Bio-Bee initiative which has achieved 20 million dollars of sales per year. Bio-Bee is one of the leading international companies in the field of Biologically based Integrated Pest Management, Natural Pollination, and Medfly Control. Bio-Bee products are sold worldwide, in over 50 countries, through our subsidiaries and numerous agents and distributors. BioBee is the world’s leading producer of Phytoseiulus persimilis, the most effective natural predator of Tetranychus urticae (red spider mite).