In order to increase product quality and yield in greenhouse agriculture, the use of bumblebees, which are described as 'natural workers', has become widespread instead of chemicals called 'hormones.' Bumblebees, which fertilize the product in the greenhouse, especially tomatoes, eggplant, and pepper, work for the grower during the natural pollination stage. In Antalya, where all of Türkiye's bumblebee production and exports are made, 600,000 colony bumblebees and 1 million queen bees are raised annually.
Bumble bees produced in Antalya are exported to Azerbaijan, Belgium, Iran, Georgia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, TRNC, Kuwait, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Oman, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Having imported bumblebees in the past years, Türkiye has become an exporting country with the production made in Antalya in recent years.
Antalya Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry Gokhan Karaca said that pollination in greenhouse production was done by plant growth regulators or manually in previous years. Explaining that bumblebees have been used for pollination in the world since 1988, Karaca said that bumblebee production started in Türkiye in 1997.
Expressing that hormones were used for vegetables consumed in winter months 20 years ago, Karaca said, "At that time, there were no seeds in the products because bees were not used and plant growth regulators were used. With the support of the Ministry for the production and use of bumblebees, pollination at a rate approaches close to 100% in greenhouse production, especially in tomatoes. Since the production is made with bees, the amount of pesticides used decreases considerably."
Explaining that the production of bumblebees has increased in recent years, Karaca said, "Antalya meets the need for bumblebees in our country and all of its exports. There are four big companies producing in our province. They produce approximately 600,000 colony bumblebees and nearly 1 million queen bees per year. We export a certain amount of them."
Stating that approximately 20,000 colony bumblebees were exported in 2017, Karaca said, "Our exports reached 66,000 colonies last year. The export value last year was 1.7 million euros. This year, We aim to exceed the number of exports we reached last year. The production and exports will increase as greenhouse production becomes widespread in the second month of the year."
Source: Yeni Safak