What is Pollinator-Vector Technology?

 


What is Pollinator-Vector Technology?

 

Safe, sustainable, marketable food production; starts in agriculture. Agricultural improvement is the elementary improvement of the food industry. Since the use of chemical pesticides (pesticides) is prohibited in organic agriculture, the biggest challenge is the struggle against pests. Alternative ways have been produced and tested for this situation. Pollinator-vector technology is one of the technologies encountered in agriculture, especially in organic agriculture. Bees are the main roles in this technology. Average 78% of pollination is provided by animals [1].

 

As we know, bees are carriers of pollen; It is an important point especially with its ability to carry microscopic particles. The mentioned pollen sizes vary according to the species in parallel with environmental factors. Also, depending on the nutritional level of the plant, it is in the range of 5-200 micrometers [2].

 

In addition to pollen transport, bees also; it means that it can also carry microscopic particles such as mold spores, bacterial cells and viruses. This often has a lethal (pathogenic) effect on the bee itself and plants. At the same time, this ability of bees means that it can be used in the transport of biological control agents [3]. As mentioned above, in organic agriculture, it is a method recommended and used in pest control if the concentration and transport efficiency of the biological agent is optimized.

 

Related to this, many subtitles such as the type of bee used, the location and environment of the agricultural area, the spray hive design (dispenser) to be used in the method, the effect of bees on biodiversity, the effect on different agricultural products have been examined and passed to the literature. Some studies are given below.

 

As mentioned above, preserving biodiversity is one of the goals of organic agriculture. In one study, bee communities in six organic and six conventional wine fields in Northeast Italy were examined with regard to biodiversity. They investigated the differences and similarities between two different agricultural types in terms of the size of bee colonies, pollen seeking behaviour, gender and sociability. Surprisingly, their results are that there is no difference or benefit in pollination between these areas. It has been concluded that especially organic farming does not meet the biodiversity claim [4].

 

Contrary to this data, a group of researchers [5] compiled the effect of organic agriculture on biodiversity in studies conducted until December 2002 using the meta-analysis method, which is the statistical synthesis method of research results obtained from a series of primary studies [6]. He reported that organic agriculture increased the richness of living species compared to conventional agriculture, and increased bee species richness up to 30% on average. On the contrary, 16% of the compilation results is that organic farming has a negative effect on biodiversity. It is that these different results give results depending on the organisms and the condition of the land (the existence of areas such as lakes, ponds that affect biodiversity around the land, different sizes of organic and conventional areas etc.).

 

In another study, the use of bumblebee to pollinate sweet pepper in the greenhouse resulted in an increase in fruit weight, volume, seed weight, extra large and percentage of large fruits, and reduced the time required for harvest day [7].

 

In another study, the effect of bees as a pollinator in blueberries was investigated. Results; it increases the seed formation up to 92% and fruit set up to 12%, and the effect on the homogeneity of fruit size increases up to 11% [8].

 

Some advantages of using Bumblebees, which are the most common in this technology, are summarized as follows [9].

 

·       Increase in efficiency is provided. When bumblebees are used in production, there is a significant increase in fruit number and fruit weight.

·       In average efficiency; 20-25% increase in tomato and pepper and 7-10% increase in eggplant.

·       Homogeneous (one type) fruits are obtained.

·       Quality (heavy, plump, delicious, etc.) fruits are formed.

·       Especially in eggplant and tomato, there is a decrease in fungal diseases such as Botrytis, which are very common due to moisture as a result of hormone applications.

·       There is no need to use hormones or vibrators between 10C-37C.

·       It saves labor cost.

·       There is no hormone residue in the fruits.

·       They can work in low light intensity.

·       Their tongues are longer than honey bee and they vibrate the flower better as they are heavy.

·       Bumblebees can pollinate 400 tomato flowers in one flight, visit 10-20 flowers in 1 minute.

·       Honey bees are active from January to April, while bumblebees are active all year round.

·       Bumblebees visit plant flowers more often than honey bees, they are more loyal and their communication systems are well developed.

 

 

Therefore, pollinator-vector technology in plant production; it is a multidisciplinary pest management approach that includes different ecosystem components such as pollinators, microbiological control agents and insect pests. Pest management that helps this technology provides higher yields and better crop quality by providing less chemical use and better pollination for crop quality.

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CONTENT: Nursena ZEYBEKOĞLU

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References:


[1] Ollerton, J., Winfree, R., & Tarrant, S. (2011). How many flowering plants are pollinated by animals?. Oikos120(3), 321-326.

[2] Willmer, P. (2011). Pollination and floral ecology. Princeton University Press, 158

[3] James, R., James, R. R., & Pitts-Singer, T. L. (Eds.). (2008). Bee pollination in agricultural ecosystems. Oxford University Press on Demand.(syf 65-75)

[4] Brittain, C., Bommarco, R., Vighi, M., Settele, J., & Potts, S. G. (2010). Organic farming in isolated landscapes does not benefit flower-visiting insects and pollination. Biological Conservation143(8), 1860-1867.

[5] Bengtsson, J., Ahnström, J., & Weibull, A. C. (2005). The effects of organic agriculture on biodiversity and abundance: a meta‐analysis. Journal of applied ecology42(2), 261-269.

[6] Gurevitch, J., Morrow, L. L., Wallace, A., & Walsh, J. S. (1992). A meta-analysis of competition in field experiments. The American Naturalist140(4), 539-572.

[7] Kevan, P. G., Sutton, J., & Shipp, L. (2007). Pollinators as vectors of biocontrol agents–the B52 story. Biological Control–A Global Perspective, eds. C. Vincent, MS Goettel & G. Lazarovits, CABI International, Oxfordshire, UK, 319-327.

[8] Nicholson, C. C., & Ricketts, T. H. (2019). Wild pollinators improve production, uniformity, and timing of blueberry crops. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment272, 29-37.

[9] Sıralı, Recep & Ugur, Atnan & Kocamanoğlu, Çiğdem. (2012). Bombus Arılarının Seralarda Kullanım Olanakları, Arıcılık Araştırma Dergisi. 16-20.