Tuesday, June 27, 2017
How the bumblebee coincidentally saved the greenhouse industry.
How the bumblebee coincidentally saved the greenhouse industry.Bumblebees, beneficial insects and mites are probably the most loyal residents of a grower's greenhouse. The Belgian veterinarian who made this discovery was Roland De Jonghe. He had always been fascinated by the world of bumblebees and was breeding them in his living room, backyard and garage as a hobby. One day, De Jonghe saw a bumblebee accidentally pollinating a tomato crop in one of his friend's hobby greenhouses in the early eighties. The veterinarian immediately realized that if he succeeded in bringing more bumblebees into a greenhouse, growers could make a giant leap forward and replace manual pollination. De Jonghe became the first to breed and produce bumblebees year-round, and soon after his company Biobest was born. Thirty years later, the Belgian company operates more than fourteen international subsidiaries and has distributors in over sixty countries. On a weekly basis, about 700,000 bumblebees leave their production facilities in Westerlo, on their way to help a desperate greenhouse grower pollinate his crops somewhere on the other side of the world. more