Wednesday, 17 November 2004 - 8:10 AM

Honey bees and bumble bees: New alliances with old friends

Peter Kevan,, University of Guelph, Applied Ecology and Anthecology Laboratory, Edmund C. Bovey Building, Guelph, ON, Canada

Honey bees and bumble bees are now integral to agricultural productivity. Honey bees are the most important pollinators in most agricultural settings, and bumblebees are now indispensible specialty pollinators of greenhouse crops. Apart from their roles in crop pollination, they join the ranks of biological control agents and ecosystemic approaches to environmentally friendly crop protection. Starting with the so-called "B52" project, excellent control (as good as with recommended applications of captan) of grey mold (Botrytis cinerea)was acheived by vectoring the fungal antagonistic fungus Clonostachys rosea) on the bodies of bees tracking through a hive dispenser, becoming dusted with biocontrol formulation, and foraging at the flowers of strawberries and raspberries. Other researchers in Canada and USA have applied the principle to delivery of biocontrol agents against pathogens on canola and alfalfa. Following that lead, other rsearchers have delivered entomopathogenic organisms against pests on canola, sunflower in the field. Recent research has shown potential and safety for the technology against greenhouse pests (thrips and Lygus) on greenhouse sweet-peppers pollinated by bumblebees. The multi-kingdom interactions have multi-beneficial effects: pollination, crop protection, and reduced pesticide usage.

Species 1: Hymenoptera Apidae Apis mellifera (honey bee)
Species 2: Hymenoptera Apidae Bombus (bumble bees)
Keywords: pollinators

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

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