The tomato is the edible berry of the Solanum lycopersicum plant. Tomatoes are a crucial part of the vegetable market in South Africa, which produces over 500,000 tons of tomatoes annually. They are grown on over 6,000 hectares of land in approximately 200 varieties, both in open-field and protected cultivation.
The anther of a tomato flower is shaped like a hollow tube, with the pollen produced within it, rather than on the surface. Very little pollen is shed without some kind of externally induced motion. The Bumblebee provides the ideal vibratory frequencies to release pollen grains with its “buzz pollination” technique which honey bees lack. In outdoor settings wind and animals provide sufficient motion but in greenhouses and indoor settings the bumblebee is the hero.
Pests and diseases
BioBee’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) solutions have been implemented by South African tomatoes growers, reducing the use of pesticides significantly. BioBee’s approach to IPM is multifaceted, employing multiple strategies to achieve the optimal result. In addition to the gradual release of host-specific beneficial insects, BioBee recommends that growers use selective “soft” chemical pesticides. This strategy helps growers transition from using “harsh” chemicals, which are dangerous to the human population and the environment and have long-lasting residues. It has also been proven to increase marketable crop yield, and as a result, increases profits.
With BioBee, growers meet the strict legislation in Europe, the U.S., Japan and other countries regarding MRLs (maximum residue levels), as well as GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) requirements, including GLOBALGAP (a voluntary standard required by many supermarket chains in Europe). Produce grown with BioBee requires minimal pesticide use.
BioBee’s staff is extensively trained in the IPM method, and works directly with growers to produce a tailor-made IPM program to meet his or her individual needs. This customized program is successfully implemented with the ongoing oversight and guidance of BioBee’s staff.