Arne van Aalst is soon to take up his position at Koppert Biological Systems. Van Aalst, who is now general director at the growers' association...
Natupol in sweet pepper
17 February 2010
Fruit set in sweet pepper can be problematic under certain suboptimal conditions. This situation can often occur in autumn, winter or early spring when light and climate are far from ideal. This oftens lead to poor plant and flower quality. Often we also see an increased length of the pistil which makes it difficult to realise the normally simple process of pollination. The high humidity levels result in very sticky pollen which is not spontaneously getting loose from the anthers. The introduction of bumblebees will help solve a big part of these problems by transferring the sticky pollen to the stigma resulting in the required pollination. It is also known that bumblebee pollination helps to increase the dimensions and the shape of the fruits as well the overall fruit weight.
Bumblebees are very tough and intensive workers, but they can't do the impossible. Poor fruit set as a result of a lack of light, cannot be solved by introducing bumblebees.
Besides improving the fruit set, bumblebees are often introduced in sweet pepper to remove the pollen from the greenhouse. Various research projects have shown how the introduction of bumblebees and/or honeybees can help to reduce the amount employees working in sweet pepper crops suffering from allergic (pollen) reactions. Most clients select bumblebees since they are easy to use, available throughout the whole year and are friendly towards the employees.
Read more about sweet pepper on our sweet pepper page.