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Honeybee as vector of biological fungicide in organic strawberry production

Bevk, Danilo; Zaplotnik, Špela; Treven , Vinko and Čokl, Andrej (2014) Honeybee as vector of biological fungicide in organic strawberry production. Lecture at:

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Organic berry production suffers heavily from the lack of effective disease control and from inadequate insect pollination. BICOPOLL is a European study on protecting strawberries from its most important disease, the grey mould (Botrytis cinerea) using spores of fungi Gliocladium catenulatum in Prestop Mix (PM). To deliver PM to the flowers of strawberry honeybees were used. Bees gathered PM in a dispenser exit placed at the hive and delivered it to the flowers. G. catenulatum acts as antagonist of grey mould and protect the flower. Effectiveness of honeybees as vector of PM and safety to bees was studied. The behaviour of foragers in dispenser was observed by two video cameras. PM reduced number of direct crossings of the dispenser and bees were trying to avoid it. Changes were the most obvious in the first hour, and then subsided. In homing ability experiment the treated and untreated bees were released from a distance of 40 m from the hive. Results showed prolonged flights in bees that were exposed to PM but did not affect returning rate until evening. The effects on response to food stimuli were tested by classical conditioning of proboscis extension reflex. The results did not confirm any effect. Effectiveness of honeybees as vectors of PM was tested under realistic filed growing conditions. Flower visits of bees and yield were monitored. Bees visited strawberry flowers the whole flowering period, but more abundant were in warm weather and in the afternoon. PM increased proportion of healthy berries for approximately 50 %. Results confirmed safety of PM to bees and showed effectiveness of bees as vector. We suggest some improvements to the dispenser and changes in application of PM.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Lecture
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic II > BICOPOLL
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:631
Deposited By: Bevk, Dr. Danilo
ID Code:28593
Deposited On:21 Oct 2015 05:19
Last Modified:21 Oct 2015 05:19
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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