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Bees, Beware! Presented by Lifespan

 

Bees, Beware!

It's a warm, lazy afternoon. You're reclining in your favorite lawn chair sipping an icy lemonade; the kids are frolicking in the sprinkler when - they come. First one; then two, hovering, dive-bombing and eventually driving you all indoors. Once again, the bees have won the backyard...but not for long. Margaret Grahn Marisi doesn't have anything personal against bees. She just doesn't want them intruding on her leisure time outdoors. Marisi doesn't chase them with swatters or plaster them with pesticides. Instead she invented an environmentally safe product that sends the buggers flying. It was 10 years ago when Marisi decided she'd had enough. A kitchen chemist, she came up with a recipe to keep the bees away. As a research assistant and registered nurse at Rhode Island Hospital, Marisi has first-hand knowledge of chemicals. "It was trial and error at first," she says. "I tried different combinations of repellents and herbs until I came up with one that works." Marisi's secret formula isn't only gentle to the environment, it's also nice to the bees. It doesn't kill them, it simply makes it hard for them to breathe where the repellent is sprayed, so they head for greener pastures. Marisi's brew was so successful, her friends and relatives encouraged her to have it patented. "I couldn't believe how much research I had to provide," she says. "I spent many hours at Brown University, but I ended up finding the data I needed right here at the Cranston Library!" Mountains of paperwork, 6000 in fees and three years later, the government finally granted her a patent. But the story wasn't over. The Environmental Protection Agency took nearly two years to review her product. Marisi finally got the "go" from the EPA in May. After test-marketing this summer, Bee Safe will make it to local store shelves. "I've been approached by companies big and small to market Bee Safe. But we decided to make this a family business. I've got a local manufacturer and a marketer - we've even got the labels designed." So if you're tired of dodging bees and their equally unfriendly cousins, wasps and yellow jackets, be on the look out for Bee Safe - coming soon to a store near you.