Announcements

Job offersmore »



Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




Visionary innovation for bumblebee pollination

Koppert has found an effective way to aid bumblebee navigation. Based on the bumblebee's vision, this innovation has a direct impact on its performance in the crop.

'Bumblebees have different vision to humans. Research shows that better visual orientation can have a positive effect on overall pollination,' says Koppert's Pollination Manager, Remco Huvermann. 'All Natupol hives have now been equipped with what we call 'bee vision' features to reduce orientation problems and increase the effectiveness of the bumblebees.


Natupol Excel has been specially designed for crops with a high density of flowers, such as cherry, snack tomatoes and strawberries.

Navigation aid in unfavourable conditions Huvermann explains that bumblebees need sufficient daylight for their orientation. 'Bumblebees start to have problems with their orientation when daylight is reduced or when artificial light dominates the natural light. The impact on pollination (of up to 40% in some cases) is often underestimated. A strong reduction in daylight can be caused by extra layers of foil, screens and the crop itself, and is at its worst during the darkest months of the year,' Huvermann explains.

New innovative solutions based on three years of extensive research now help bumblebees during these unfavourable conditions. The Natupol hives contain additional cues, combined with a special coating, printing pattern and hive door material in specific colours, which make the hives much more visible to bumblebees and enable them to orientate themselves more easily. The Natupol Excel hive has extra cues, visible to the bumblebees alone, to help them find their way back even more rapidly. This has a direct impact on effective pollination. The 'bee vision' cue is one of several innovations that Koppert features in its new Natupol product portfolio.

Better ventilation and more sugar water, further innovations to the Natupol hives include larger ventilation holes in the Natupol Excel hive. These give the bumblebees more control over the internal hive climate when temperatures rise or when the colonies are shut at regular intervals, as in crops grown under artificial light. The holes are covered with a special mesh to protect the hives against unwelcome visitors.


Bumblebees see things differently from humans. Three years of intensive research conducted with external specialists has produced an innovative solution.

The Natupol Excel hive also contains a large colony and 19% more sugar water. These Natupol colonies can come to full expansion and are suitable for crops which produce large amounts of pollen (high number of flowers) such as fine cherry/snack tomatoes and strawberries. The extra sugar water can also be used by the bumblebees to regulate the temperature in the hive. More sugar water will also ensure greater and longer pollination. The sugar water inside the Natupol hive is of a high quality. 'It's like a sports drink for bumblebees,' Huvermann explains.

Koppert established itself as a world leader in the commercial production of bumblebees in the early 90's and has maintained its position as a quality standard through continuous research by its own R&D department and leading institutions in the field of natural pollinators. The international company now has bumblebee production facilities in Slovakia, Turkey, Mexico, and the United States - strategically located to ensure that the bumblebees reach their destinations ready to start pollinating as soon as they are released. 'The recent innovations are going to make our commercial bumblebees even safer, more efficient and effective pollinators. The new range of Natupol products carries features that have optimized the hives to make it even easier for the bumblebees to operate in sub-optimal circumstances and in a variety of growing conditions,' Huvermann asserts. 'Many of our solutions are based on growers' observations and we value their role in communicating the problems they encounter in the field. Satisfied customers are our top priority.'

'We have taken some big, innovative steps since Koppert moved into the field of commercial pollinators in 1989. And we have been working towards a system in which growers gain the maximum pollination benefits with the minimum hassle ever since,' Huvermann adds. 'The new Natupol system is the result of 26 years of accumulated expertise coupled to the latest technology - our best bumblebees, technically advanced hives, combined with our customized advice, that deliver consistent performance and the best availability in the market.'

'Trends, technology and growing conditions in both protected and outdoor crop environments have changed radically since Koppert first introduced its bumblebees to the market. Anticipating future challenges and finding solutions keep our R&D department in top gear,' says Huvermann. 'When it comes to finding solutions to today's production issues, we are all essentially in a partnership with nature to make cultivation and the planet safer and more productive now and in the future,' Huvermann concludes.

For more information:
Koppert Biological Systems
Email: info@koppert.com
www.koppert.com

Publication date: 3/17/2017

 


 

Other news in this sector:

10/13/2017 Indian farmers thrive with new sweet pepper varieties
10/9/2017 Light approaches to speed up the generation turnover
10/5/2017 Australia: Nectar Farms to light 40 hectares
9/29/2017 Lumileds expands hort portfolio
9/28/2017 Svensson is making the invisible visible at the CGC'17
9/27/2017 Ellepot introduces new tray filler
9/25/2017 Fluence illuminates Las Vegas' new cannabis vertical farm
9/20/2017 CAN: MedReleaf partners with Israeli LED manufacturer Flora Fotonica
9/18/2017 Yara North America response to hurricanes Harvey and Irma
9/14/2017 US: Nelson Pade receives 2017 Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment Award
9/14/2017 US: BVT details strategy for system launch in Florida
9/12/2017 New battery backpack sprayer REX 15 from Birchmeier
9/8/2017 Osram launches Osconiq product family for professional applications
9/7/2017 Inefficient cannabis growers will go out of business eventually
9/1/2017 Finding spare parts just got easier
8/29/2017 US (FL): Guardian Soil Solutions to distribute BVT system
8/28/2017 Priva brings Royal Brinkman Spare parts finder to 10,000
8/24/2017 Hort Americas offers OSRAM horticultural LED lights
8/21/2017 CAN (ON): LumiGrow partners with CF Industrial for local lighting service
8/21/2017 Senet and Sensoterra to deliver real-time soil moisture monitoring