BioBest: "A natural solution, wherever possible"
In 2015, the financial-economic weekly Trends proclaimed the Westerlo-based company Biobest as one of 40 Belgian companies among the world's top food companies. Biobest is active in biological pollination and control. For pollination they breed bumblebees, for control insects and mites. The bumblebees save an enormous amount on labor, while the insects and mites are an ecological alternative to chemical pesticides.
Bumblebees as well as insects and mites are Biobest's main export products. The agricultural, fruit and vegetable growing sector, like other sectors, must look for biological and ecological alternatives. Biobest's research and development efforts have enabled them to provide viable alternatives to traditional methods of cultivation, such as cultivation under glass or plastic protective film.
Bumblebees are capable of effectively dispersing biological pesticides or pre-collected pollen to appropriate locations. For crops under glass, for example tomatoes, this is a good alternative. Biobest breeds insects and mites to replace chemical pesticides, the company's main activity.
Biobest's story does not end with bumblebees, insects and mites. The company is investing in research and development. At its headquarters in Westerlo, scientists are constantly looking for new candidate organisms that can serve as pollinators or pest controllers. The research takes an additional step by exploring how these new organisms can be used and deployed even more effectively.
Further research also needs to be done on new, natural methods of pollination, as bumblebee populations are declining worldwide. Finally, Biobest is also a producer of biopesticides, nematodes, attractants, pheromones, and other natural solutions. Their goal: “wherever possible to offer the grower a natural solution to every problem".