Bees are the main pollinators of nature, and Brazil as being a country with a strong agribusiness must always be open to new ways to produce crops in a sustainable way.
Semiochemicals are chemical substances that enable communication between living things found in nature. The allelochemicals enable communication between individuals of different species. From the economic point of view the most important interactions observed are insect pests x tillage and pollinators insects x tillage.
Insect pest case
The transition from subsistence farming to commercial generally increases the crop area, deforests and unbalances the biome. The concentration of the same species of plant in a large area can release allelochemicals in such quantity that generates a great migration of the same predatory insects to the area of planting, destroying the crop. In many cases the solution is the use of insecticides / pesticides that run into a lot of environmental, health and quality problems required for export.
Semiochemicals have emerged as promising components in integrated pest management, particularly in monitoring insect populations and mass collection of these. This way It’s possible to eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of insecticide employed. They may be used to assist in the pollination process, especially vegetables, which are naturally self-pollinated compromised.
Insect pollinator case: Orchid and Passion Bee
The LASAPE developed a mixture with characteristics of a non-natural alelochemical, which was put to test in an orchard in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
The test found:
- Selective attraction of Eulaema nigrita and Euglossa pleosticta by LASAPE/IQ-UFRJ mixture.
- These insects have economic importance, for being pollinators in passion fruit and orchids crops.
- The use of the mixture LASAPE/IQ-UFRJ in these cultures, could increase the population density of these pollinators, especially in flowering time.