published Mar 22, 2016
Like many of Israel’s nascent industries, the Bio-Organic farming movement had inauspicious beginnings on a small Kibbutz.
Roughly 30 years ago, Mario Levy began an experiment on Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu in the northern Jordan Valley. Disenchanted with the agriculture’s heavy dependence on pesticides, Mario wanted farming to return to the laws of nature. Mario began Israel’s first experiment with organic farming methods, which avoided using synthetic chemicals to help crops stay healthy. The project was so successful that the Israeli Agricultural Ministry put him in charge of implementing his organic farming methods across Israel.
Mario teamed up with Jacob Nakash, a self-taught savant in the field of entomology, to explore non-pesticide, organic solutions to some of the more pernicious insects plaguing Israel’s crops. The product of their collaboration was BioBee, a company dedicated to developing biological pest control solutions as well as natural pollination.
Mario and Jacob conducted tests in bomb shelters and sleeping quarters, experimenting with and researching beneficial insects that could help keep Israel’s agriculture organic.
BioBee pioneered a push towards natural pollination, putting one of mother nature’s most industrious insects to work for farmers. The Bombus, or simple bumblebee, presented Israel’s budding greenhouse farming industry with a solution for one if its most intractable problems, pollinating indoors. Instead of laborers pollinating greenhouses by hand, the bombus could pollinate entire indoor fields in any weather without missing a single flower.
Another brilliant innovation was to research natural predators for some of the nastiest pests eating away at Israel’s organic bounty. These beneficial predatory bugs could be introduced to crops, biologically controlling pest populations as effectively as harmful pesticides, while helping reduce the amount of chemicals making their way into fruits and vegetables.
With the support of Dutch Integrated Pest Management and Natural Pollination giant Koppert, BioBee became Israel’s leader in the field, innovating new and groundbreaking methods of mass producing these beneficial insects.
BioBee began growing these eager predators on the plants themselves, providing the optimal conditions to let their populations flourish. BioBee would grow the plants on which the pests flourish, then grow the helpful predators on the pest population. While this method had worked on a small scale, BioBee successfully expanded the endeavor, finding the most efficient and biologically friendly way to breed large quantities of these insects to ship abroad.
While successfully getting their products out the door was a massive accomplishment in and of itself, BioBee didn’t stop there. The transition to being a global powerhouse in the realm of Integrated Pest Management needed one more crucial step.
Today BioBee is no longer restricts their exports to bugs, but successfully shares their 30 years of accumulated experience and knowledge regarding Biological Pest Control. BioBee takes pride in making their knowledge available to their clients by providing a number of well-trained experts to help implement their groundbreaking solutions in the field.
As an integral part of the company’s ethos, these field experts represent the core ideology of BioBee and the Bio-Organic movement at large: truly understand the land and the ecosystem, then gently help mother nature take its course.