Nordic Research Network for Biocontrol and Pollination (BICOPOLL-NET)
Nordic collaboration in the area of biocontrol of pests and plant diseases has produced excellent results, placing the Nordic countries in the forefront internationally in this area of research. However, this activity has declined during the past decade or more, and currently little if any collaborative projects or Nordic researcher training in this area exists.
In the increasingly important area of pollinators there has, so far, not been much Nordic collaboration at the academic level, except via the recently created BeeNOVA-network.
An alarming decline of natural and managed pollinators evident also in the Nordic countries, demands intensified research and researcher training so that pollination services can be ensured for sustainable future of Nordic agriculture, horticulture, and landscapes, including natural berry yields and diversity of the flora.
Recent research in the Nordic and Baltic countries has demonstrated that significant breakthroughs can be made by innovative mixing of disciplines: combining expertise in the core disciplines of horticulture, apiculture/entomology, and plant pathology, resulted in the pioneering development of the entomovector technology. This is a highly innovative approach to solving some of the most difficult disease and pest problems in berry and fruit production.
The main hypothesis of this network is that berry and fruit production suffers heavily from the lack of effective disease and pest management tools, as well as from inadequate insect pollination at times, and that these limitations can be overcome via development of targeted precision bio-control and pollination enhancement involving honey bees, bumble bees, and solitary bees. Besides the pest or disease control, the entomovector system also ensures adequate pollination of the target crop and the surrounding vegetation, bringing a unique dual benefit to the grower and the society.