Biologically based Integrated Pest Management
What is Biologically based Integrated Pest Management?
Biologically based Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is defined by the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) as: “a pest population management system that utilizes all suitable techniques in a compatible manner to reduce pest populations and maintain them at levels below those causing economic injury”.
The major incentives that led to the widespread recognition of IPM as a key plant protection tool during the last decades were: environmental pollution by agro-chemicals, resistance to pesticides by a whole multitude of pests, outbreaks of secondary pests as a result of using non-selective pesticides and disruption of pest-resistance mechanisms in plants.
Bio-Bee is at the forefront of implementing biologically based IPM solutions in protected and open-field cultivations. protocols have been developed for integration of Bio-Bee’s beneficial insects and mites with selective chemical pesticides under strict pest monitoring programs. These protocols are used by conventional as well as bio-organic growers of vegetables, fruits and ornamental.
IPM is strongly linked to the particular agricultural crop, its economical aspects, ecology and genetics of its different pests and their control.
The most common methods used in IPM are:
- Chemical control – selective pesticides that affect the target pests, while inflicting minimum negative side effects on the environment and/or non-target organisms.
- Resistant plants – to specific pests.
- Cultural control – cultural methods used in a given crop to minimize pest populations and maximize populations of beneficial organisms. Typical examples of cultural control are: crop rotation, cultivation methods, surface mulching, solarization, sanitation between production cycles, trap plants for different pests, and refuge or banker plants for the beneficials.
- Control of pests – interference with their physiological or behavioral functions. Sex pheromones are used for monitoring, mass trapping and mating disruption of plant pests. Pesticides, such as Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs), affect the normal development and metamorphosis of pests. Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is another measure to control pests via their reproduction system.
- Biological control – living organisms that are used to control agricultural pests. Biological control by beneficial arthropods, i.e. predatory and parasitic insects and mites is Bio-Bee’s specialty.
Bio-Bee’s mission is to place biological control as a key component in any relevant IPM program.