WESTERLO, Belgium: Eupeodes-System – Biobest’s unique and powerful new addition to its aphid control strategy – has been awarded the prestigious Bernard Blum Award – for the most innovative new biological control product for 2020.
“A naturally occurring hoverfly, Eupeodes corollae is indigenous throughout Europe and further afield,” says R&D Senior Scientist Apostolos Pekas – Biobest´s Team Leader for Beneficials in Belgium. “While the larvae are voracious aphid predators, Biobest has shown the adults simultaneously aid crop pollination — making it the first proven case of a beneficial insect providing two ecosystem services. This puts Eupeodes-System in a category of its own.
“Until now, hoverfly use in IPM programmes has often been limited due to a lack of reliable mass-rearing systems,” explains Apostolos. Biobest has successfully developed protocols for a reliable and cost-effective mass-rearing system producing high quantities of Eupeodes predators when required.
“Unlike other aphid natural enemies, such as parasitoids that are specific to a single or a limited number of aphid species – Eupeodes is a generalist predator. The larvae have been shown to feed on the full range of agriculturally important aphid species. A voracious predator, a single larva can consume up to 1,000 aphids to complete development. Add to that the fact it also can contribute to crop pollination and it is of great interest to growers.”
While some beneficials need warmer temperatures to perform, Eupeodes-System continues to work at 10°C. With an optimal temperature range of 15 to 25°C, it is recommended for use from March to October.
“With our highly reliable and cost-effective mass rearing system in place, Biobest can deliver quality Eupeodes predators when required at a reasonable price to growers,” says Ines de Craecker, Product Manager for Beneficials at Biobest.
Presented annually by the International Biological Control Manufacturers’ Association, the Bernard Blum Award recognises products that have a high impact in the management of pests or diseases whilst having a low impact on human health and the environment.
De Craecker concludes, “Perfectly compatible and complementary to existing commercial biological solutions for aphid control, Eupeodes-System – with its unique dual ecosystem features – is poised to become a valuable tool helping to provide a sustainable solution to aphid control in a range of crops worldwide.”