Distribution of a model biocontrol agent (Serenade® MAX) in apple and pear by mason bees and bumble bees

Kevin Maebe, Ruben Vanderhaegen, Matti Pisman, Maxime Eeraerts, Bart Cottyn, Bart Vanhoutte, Guy Smagghe

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

Abstract


Biocontrol agents (BCAs) are commonly sprayed on flowering pipfruit trees to prevent them from getting infected by various pathogens. By entomovectoring, BCAs can be directly delivered onto the flowers. However, we currently lack knowledge on the distribution dynamics of BCAs by pollinators.
Here, managed bees, both bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) and mason bees (Osmia bicornis and Osmia cornuta), were placed in the vicinity of flowering pipfruit trees (pear -‘Conference’, and apple—‘Svatava’ and ‘Jonagold’), and this allowed us to investigate the distribution of a model BCA, namely, Serenade® MAX, from spray-inoculated flowers of a centralized tree to non-inoculated flowers of surrounding receiver trees by bees in an experimental setup in outdoor conditions.
One hour after inoculation, we detected an enrichment of BCA in the flowers of the receiver trees and this for each tested pipfruit.
The distribution of BCA from treated to untreated flowers was homogenous between the receiver trees for ‘Svatava’, while significantly different loads were detected for both ‘Conference’ and ‘Jonagold’, which might be due to differences in environmental factors, and/or bee characteristics.
More research is needed to understand the distribution dynamics of BCAs by pollinators in field conditions, such as in commercial orchards or crop fields, and how this could result in an efficient control.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgricultural and Forest Entomology
Volume23
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)97 - 103
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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