Beneficial insects in the garden are always welcome guests. Bees, bumblebees, ichneumons, ladybugs and other useful insects undoubtedly bring great benefits to cultivated plants. Humans have long recognized the role of predatory insects in controlling pest populations, and today they are widely used in agriculture.
Beneficial insects are divided into entomophages and pollinators. The first are predatory insects and mites that eat eggs, larvae and adults of pests, thereby disrupting their life cycle and reducing the population. The second ones perform high-quality cross-pollination, which ensures a high yield of vegetables and fruit and berry crops. In their turn, entomophages are divided into direct predators, which are actively looking for prey, pierce its integuments and feed on its contents, killing pests and parasites (or rather parasitoids), insects whose part of the life cycle passes in the pest's body. At the same time, it cannot be said which of the insects are the most useful, since they all play an important role in the life of plants.
Pollinators are very useful insects for orchid, vegetable garden and protected ground. The role of pollinators in agriculture is played by bees, osmium bees (large solitary bees that carry more pollen due to their size) and bumblebees, with bumblebees being the most effective pollinators.
Advantages of pollination with bumblebees:
- Bumblebees carry more pollen due to their focus on collecting the latter and their size;
- They are less dependent on weather conditions such as temperature, wind and cloudiness;
- Thanks to the vibration generated by the wings, these pollinators shake the pollen out of the flower better and more efficiently;
- Bumblebees do not show selectivity in choosing a flower and pollinate all nearby plants;
- Even hard-to-reach flowers are pollinated where bees cannot cope.
Entomophages and pollinators are extremely effective pest control agents. Today the IPM method (integrated plant protection method) is inconceivable without the use of beneficial insects.
Advantages of beneficial insects:
- Beneficial insects guarantee an environmentally friendly harvest;
- Reduce the use of pesticides;
- Quality pest control;
- Elimination of the emergence of resistance;
Carrying out preventive introduction of entomophages at the beginning of agricultural turnover while the pest population is still low, in order to fix the predator, provides high-quality and effective control of the pest and a guaranteed increase in yield due to the absence of phytotoxicity and pesticide stress in the crop.