Activities 2016

The programme on Ecological Intensification through applications of managed pollinators, understanding of the diversity of wild pollinators, coupled with dissemination of biological control agents against crop diseases and pests has progressed well. Three projects on sunflower seed production and protection (Serbia, Canada & USA) all showed yield increases by 20 - 30% through honey bee and bumblebee pollination and simultaneous suppression of Sclerotinia head rot. Field trials on strawberries in USA and Canada show that fruit yield, size, sugar content, shelf-life are all significantly improved through managed pollination and simultaneous suppression of grey mould (Botrytis). Experiments are in progress for strawberry protection and pollination in Colombia. Expertise has been shared in Serbia, Colombia and Canada with expectation of experiments on raspberries and more on strawberries being started in 2017.

Research on coffee pollinators pollination has progressed well in central and southern Mexico with several presentations and publication of a book. Advances in Brazil for coffee pollination and protection in Bahia have progressed well with demonstration that Africanized honeybees can be effective disseminators of biological control materials. In Pernambuco, progress has been hampered by continuing drought. In Kenya, the team has surveyed for the pests and diseases of coffee and identified field sites for 2017 experiments. In Canada, major advances through BVT Inc. have been made in development of an electro-mechanical biocontrol agent dispenser for honeybee hives. These will be available to projects under the IUBS programme in Canada, USA, Serbia, Kenya, Mexico and Colombia early in 2017. Passive dispensers have been provided to partners for continuing and comparative experiments.

The programme has received positive responses from some 10 presentations at meetings with participants ranging from the public and growers, to policy makers, to extension and scientific bodies.  Seven publications can be attributed in full or in part to the programme and range from scientific reviews to policy guidelines and for the general public.

Partnerships with academic and research organisations (e.g. academic and government research and with IOBC and ICPPR) continue to expand and industry support, especially BVT Inc. and with growers is increasing.

The programme has enjoyed a great deal of cooperation and synergy by working with other organisations in Serbia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Canada.

Development of partnerships

The consortium of partners has expanded to include one additional member, The National University of Colombia (UNAL).  UNAL obtained grant support in 2016 from granting agencies in Colombia for Research and Development to explore the use of managed pollinators (honeybees) in suppressing diseases in strawberry production.  It is expected that the program will expand to include coffee in the near future.  ADI visited the team late in 2016 and more formal partnerships between UNAL and U of Guelph have been initiated.

Overtures to include NSseme, a major commercial seed producer in Serbia, resulted in formalization of the partnership and a successful project on the use of bumblebees to disseminate Chlonostachys rosea for the control of Sclerotinia head rot on sunflowers. This partnership also includes BVT Inc. and its collaborating scientists at North Dakota State University. The consortium already includes the University of Belgrade which has been central to this development.

Partnerships have been established in the beekeeping sector and are allowing testing of dispensing devices under field conditions in Canada. 

Partnership prospects have been initiated between ICPPR and IOBC (both scientific members of IUBS) for the establishment of a joint Working Group to explore international scientific collaborations in the area of using managed pollinators for control of crop pests and diseases.

Partnership within the University of Guelph have resulted in an NSERC-Engage Grant  ($CAD25,000) to study the mathematical models applicable to epidemiology and control of the Varroa-virus complex devastating honeybee colonies in EU and North America. This partnership included BVT Inc. It is now in the process of being expanded for more general issues in honeybee colony health with Dutchman’s Gold Inc. (honey producers) in Ontario, Canada.

A partnership was initiated in 2016 with the horticulturalists and plant pathologists for the Government of Manitoba.  It is expected that trials for pollination and disease control will start on raspberries in 2017.  These will be coordinated with research planned for 2017 in Serbia through the University of Belgrade.


Kevan PG (2016): Ecological Intensification: More Ways to Invest Green. 12 January, 2016. (accessed 18-7-2017).

Eardley C, BM Freitas, PG Kevan, R Rader (2016): Chapter I. Background to pollination and pollinators associated with food production. Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production. IPBES.

Potts SG, VL Imperatriz-Fonseca, HT Ngo, JC Biesmeijer, TD Breeze, LV Dicks, LA Garibaldi, R Hill, J Settele, AJ Vanbergen, MA Aizen, SA Cunningham, C Eardley, BM Freitas, N Gallai, PG Kevan, A Kovács-Hostyánszki, PK Kwapong, J Li, X Li, DJ Martins, G Nates-Parra, JS Pettis, R Rader, BF Viana (2016): IPBES Summary for Policymakers of the Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production. IPBES.

IPBES (2016): Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on pollinators, pollination and food production. IPBES.

BVT Inc. (2016): Bee Vectoring Technologies Confirms Successful Sunflower 2016 Trial Results. November, 2016. (pdf file)

Bonet-Ferrer M and CH Vergara (2016): Abejas silvestres de un cafetal orgánico en Veracruz, México. Colección Sapientias. Editorial UDLAP. Puebla, Mexico. pp: 517. ISBN 978-607-7690-57-3

Conferences and Workshops


Presentations for farmers and beekeepers 2015-16

Several presentations to farmers and beekeepers in Chapada Diamantina in Bahia, Brazil by Camila Angel, Juliana Macedo and Blandina Viana. 2015 – 2016


Workshops: Managed Pollinators / Shelf-life

Using Managed Pollinators to Protect Crops: Yield, Quality and Shelf-life: Growers - New Technology - OMAFRA: Is there a mutualistic synergy? An Introduction to a novel technology. Workshop to personnel from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Guelph, Ontario. 15 March, 2016. Presented by Peter G. Kevan & John C. Sutton


Monitoring Honeybee Health

Monitoring Honeybee Health in Canada. Presentation to House of Commons Committee on Agriculture, 30 May 2016. Witness Presentation by P. Kevan.


Pollination in Agriculture

Pollination in Agriculture: Insects & Ecological Intensification. Entomological Society of British Columbia, Penticton, BC. 16 – 18 March, 2016. Presented by P. Kevan


Dispersion of microbiological control agents by bees

The potential of dispersion of microbiological control agents by Apis mellifera in coffee plantations in the Chapada Diamantina. Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. 20 August, 2016 presented by Juliana Macedo


Pollinator diversity and coffee

Diversidad de polinizadores y producción de café en México II Congreso Nacional de Fauna Nativa en Ambientes Antropizados. Red Temática Biología, Manejo y Conservación de la Fauna Nativa en Ambientes Antropizados (REFAMA). Querétaro, Qro. October 12, 2016. Presented by Carlos Vergara.


Tecnología Entomovector

Implementación de la Tecnología Entomovector como Herramienta para el Fomento de la Competitividad en Sistemas Productivos Promisorios: Fase Piloto Fresa (Fragaria sp.). Growers meeting in Fusagasugá,, Colombia. 19 November 2016. Presented by Saira Espinoza.


Managed Pollinators for Biological Crop Protection and Enhanced Production

Managed Pollinators for Biological Crop Protection & Enhanced Production. Growers meeting in Fusagasugá,, Colombia. 19 November, 2016. Presented by P. Kevan


Café, abejas y otros bichos

Café, abejas y otros bichos: polinización, diversidad y conservación. VIII Encuentro Colombiano sobre Abejas Sylvestres, Bogota, Colombia 28 – 29 November, 2016. Presented by Carlos Vergara


Pollination in Agriculture

Pollination in Agriculture: Insects (Bees) and Ecological Intensification. at: VIII Encuentro Colombiano sobre Abejas Sylvestres, Bogota, Colombia 28 – 29 November, 2016. Presented by P. Kevan.


Impact of Landcover Change on Biodiversity

Impact of Landcover Change on Biodiversity: Pollinators & Pollination. 3rd Science for Biodiversity Forum of International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 13), Cancun, Mexico. December, 2016. Presented by P. Kevan