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(11) Patent Number: KE 420   

(21)Application Number:KE/P/2008/ 000825

(22) Filing Date:15/05/2007

(30)    Priority data: 1031846 19/05/2006 NL and 1032099 03/0712006 NL

(86)  PCT data PCTINL07/000130    15/05/2007 WO 2007/136246  AI    29/11/2007
 
(73)0wner:KOPPERT B.V. of , Veilingweg 17, NL-2651 BE Berkel en Rodenrijis., The Netherlands

(72) Inventor: TETfEROO, Adrianus, Nicholas, Maria ofLuchtenburgplein 47, NL-2548 RC Den Haag., The Netherlands; VEENMAN, Arend ofEdelsteenweg 43,NL-2651 SP Berkel en Rodenrijis., The Netherlands;HOOGERBRUGGE, Haos of Leegbwaterweg 3, NL2661 TV Bergschenboek., The Netherlands and OOSTIIOEK, Henri, Peter, Paul of Rodenrijseweg 381,NL-2651 AM Berkei en Rodenrijis., The Netherlands.

(74) Agent/address for correspondence: Waruinge & Waruinge Advocates, P. 0. BOX 72384-00200, NAIROBI
 
(54) Title: METIIOD AND DEVICE FOR DISTR!Bill!NG BENEFICIAL ARTHROPODS.

(57) Abstract: The present invention according to a frrst aspect relates to a method for distributing beneficial arthropods, for example in a crop. In the method according to the invention the arthropods are distributed

by means of blowing. According to a further aspect the invention relates to a device for distributing beneficial arthropods. Such a device is suitable for performing the method according to the invention.

The present inventiori according a first aspect relates to a method for distributiDe beru!ficial arthropods,

5    for  example  in  a  crop.

According tQ a f~ther a~ec.t the invention relates to a device for distributing beneficial arthropods. Such a device ia suitable for performing the method according to the invention.

10 Beneficial arthropods ara presently frequently used in agriculture, for example for biological pest controL Examples of beneficial arthropods, used for this purpose, are (predatoty) mites, parasite wasps and assassin-bugs.

In  order  to  perform  their  function,  such  beneficial

15    arthropods must be distributed• {dispersed} in a crop. In the state of the art this is done by manually dispersing the
beneficial arth:ropode (possibly on a carrier) in the crop. Alternatively predatozY mites may be! dispersed bY using

sachets,  wherein  an  amount  of  such  predatory mites  is

20    present. Such sachets also inust be hung manually in the crop. These methods are very labo~r-intensive.

In  order  to  provide  a  saving  of  labour  while

d.istributing beneficial arthropods, in DB 4424499 a device is described, with which such beneficial arthropods may be

25    dispersed by means of blowing. In this device beneficial arthropode Etre introduced into a pressure duct, from a

reservoir, through which an airstream is forcefully directed with high velocity. However, it has been found that damage may be caused to the arthropods that are distributed with

30    such devices from the state of the art, using blowing from a pressure duct. Due to this the arthropods• perform less well in- the tasks for Which they are distributed.. Such Qa.nlage may especially occur whee. the .forced_gas flow is generated with a
 
relatively large power, for _instance to blow the arthropods aver a distance of several meters.

In addition to this, this device from the atate of the art still requires a consider~le amount of human labour.

5    This because it is carried on the back of a person, conpare.ble to a leaf blower~ such as used for making streets, beds and plots leaf free.

The present  invention  intends  to  provide  a method  and

device  for  distributing  beneficial  arthropods,  wherein  less

10    damage is caused to the arthropoda, such that they perform better when carrying out the tasks for which they are spread. In several embodiments of the itNention further measures are taken to make the distribution of the beneficial arthropods

less  hbour  intensive  than  the  metho<1s  known  in  the  atate  of

15    the  art.

In the method according to the invention an amount of useful arthropods is provided in a container. As the skilled person will understand, the fortn and material of the container are of no importance' as• long a.a the container is

20    suitable for holding the beneficial arthropoda. The container for example is a cylindrical body, of which at least one of the circular openings is closed.

The  beneficial  arthropods  are  provided  as  such  or  in

combination  with  a  carrier.  •As the  use  of  a  carrier  material

25    is common for ~:M.ny beneficial arthropod!!, it should be understood that when solely •the term "beneficial arthropods" or "arthropods• is used, these terms also encompaii!IIB the

combination with a carrier material. BenefiCial arthropods encompass all life stadia, inclusive eggs, nymphs (ae far as

30 the&:~e occur in a certain species), pupae (as far as these occur in a certain species) i and adults of for example insects, such as parasite wasps and assassin-bugs and mites, such as predatory mites, for example phyt:oseiidae, such am

described by ~ Moraes  et  al.   (De  Moraes,  G.J.,  J .A.

McMurtry,  H.A.  llenmark  &. C.B.  Campos  (2004).  A revised

catalog~ of  the  mite  family  Phyto~eiidae. Magnolia  PJ:ess

Auckland New  Zealand) .  But  within  thie  term  also  other

5    arthropods, which may be used in biological pest destruction, are included. When an_arthropod. has a suitable size and/or form. aM/or mass to be distributed by means of blowing, in

principle it can be dist~ibuted by using the method according to tbe invention. The skilled person will be able to

10 deteJ:f!line wh'l!lther the arthropod is suitable for distribution (dispersion) by means of blowing. Exa"ll;)les of carriers, that may be used in bloWing-, are bran, sawdust, vermiculite and the like.

The  container  eon~Priaes a  number  of  exits  for  the

15    arthropods. W~thin the ambit of this invention, a number of compriseS, each time. "the t;er-m is us~, one or more, The exits

are  suitable  t.o  a~low ~ arthr.o'Poos  and  possibly  the  .car:der

. to pass. For exampie, the dosagin9 of the arthropods, is controlled anO./or influenced. The exit~ are for example

20    opening-s (such as holes) provided in the container. These openings may be closable by means- of a closing means, such as a valve. The openings for exart'ille• may be provided evenly in the man,tle of• a cylindrical body, of which at least one of the circular openings is clOt:ted. The openings may for example

25    be provided on a circle on predetermined distancel!!l expressed in degrees, such ae every 10-360 •, for example 45~180', inclusive 90 ' . "When the axis of the cylinder is placed under an angle with the lines of. gravity, the arthropods may be dosed by rotating the cylinder. The doaaging will amongst

30    others depend on the speed of rotations, the size of the openings and the size of the arthropods, and the size of the optional carrier. For example, by using these par~ters the d.osaging .of the arthrop~• may be controlled and/or

influenced. Alternatively the dQsaging of the arthropods may be controlled and/or influenced hy making the opening in the container closable by mea~ of a controllable valve and controlLing the valve in agreemel).t with the necessary

5    dosaging. 'l'henecessary dosaging required. to distribute sufficient arthropods in the crop, will amongst others depend on the crop, the nature of the arthropods and the function of the arthropods in the crop. It is within the ambit of the knowledge of the skilled person to determine the necessary

10    dos.aging.

From the exit the arthropods are directed in a forced gas flow. With forced gas flow should be understood a gas flow wbich is forcefully blown and/or. directed in a particular direction the gas is preferably a galil mixture,

lS such as air. The arthropods ~Y• b~ guided mechanically or under the influence of gravity in the forc~d gas flow. suitable mechanical means will be known to the skilled person. For example, a screw traneporter may be mentioned. Use of gravity is preferable.. When using gravity the exits of

20    the arthropods will be placed tlbave or in the forced gas flow.

The forced gas flow may be generated continuously or pulsating with a gas displacer. '!'he directions wherein the

forced  gas  flow  is  generated,  the  blow  direction,  may  be

25    directed horizontally, but also llillier an angle with the horizontal. Witb.in the ambit of this invention a gas displacer should be understood to be a device suitable for d.isplaoing gas:, for example by creating pressure differences. As a gas displacsr use may be made of known means. such as

30    for example rotors (inclusive propeller), of various designs, such as two-, three- or multiple:"bladed :rotors (inolusive. propellers), turbines, or•gas oontainers with a pressurised. gas. When using one or more rot~rs these may be placed in a

cylindrical rotor cha.mbe:r, having an inlet and an ou.tlet. The benefit of this ia that the forced gas flow ie che.nnelled in the direction of the. outlet. Relative to the gas flow generated by a roto.r in free ~ce, this gas flow is more

5    directed  in  tbe  direction  of  the  axis  of  the  rotor.

The method according to the invention is characterized in that the forced g&s flow at least partially comprises an axial velocity gradient, and thAt the arthropods

-.~e introduced into the forced gas flow in the proximity of a lo part of the forced gas flow, having an axial velocity

gradient. lntroduci.ng the arthrop()da in the proximity of a part of the forced gas flow having an axial veloc:i tY gradient comprises introduction of the arthropods in a part of the forced gas now with an axial velocity.

15 ln the device acoording to the invention the forced gas flow at least partially comprises an axial speed gradient. 'Xhe forced gas flow aS such may comprise mt.lltiple components in the blow direction, of which a number have an axial velocity gradient. A number of comprises, within the

20    ambit  of  this  inv.ention,  one  or more.

With a gas :flow having an axial velocity gradient is meant, a gas flow wherein the axial velocity, meaning the gas velocity in the blow direCtion, has a gradient in the direction perpendicular to the blow direction. As such, the

25    axial velocity increases, respect::tvely decreases, in the direction perpendicular to the blew direction, depending on whether the cUtial velocity gradient ie considered. in the direction of the gradient or against the g:r;-ac!ient.

In  the  method  according  to  the  i!IV6ntion  arthropods

30    are inserted in the gas flew, sUch that in the radial c!ireotion, meaning perpendicular to the blow direction, they travel through a part of the forced. gas flow, having the axial velocity gradient, in the direction of the increasing

velocity.  This  ill  possible  by  increasing  the  axial  velocity

from  above  to  below  and by having  the  arthropods  perform  an

axial  IIX1Vement  from.  above  to  below,  tor  instance  under

influence  of  gravity.  As  auch,  the  arthropocls  'l'Mke  a  combined

5    movement comprising a. movement in the blow direction and a vertical movement under the influence of gravity.

Because the arthropoda are introduced in a part of the forced gas flow having an axial velocity gradient, they

are  only  shortly  or  not  exposed  to  the  maximal  velocity  of

10    the forced gas flow. Hereby damage, such as that which occurs in the devices of the state of art, is at least reduced.

The gas flow having an axilll velocity gradient may be generated by a rotor, such as a propel lor, rotating in tne free space. Alternatively the gas flow having an axial

15    velocity  gradient  may  he  generated by  expanding  the  forced

gas :flow. While expanding a gas flow the veloeity of t.he gaa :flow will reduce. The decrease in 'ehe velocity wUl be greater in the outer parts than in the core of the gas flow. Hereby a gas flow having an axial velocity gradient will be

20    created.

The forced. gas flow may for example be expanded by directing it from a pressure conduit or a pressure duct in free space. Alternatively the :forced gas flow may be expanded by directing it from a first pressure conduit (or pressure

25    duct) in a second pressure condl:lit (or pressure duct), having a larger diameter than the first conduit.

The arthropods may be introduced by int~ducing them in the blow direction before or after expaluiing of the forced gaB flow. Introduction in the forced gas flow after expansion

30    in the free apace is especially prefe:rable, because the chance of damage to the arthropods is smallest, because introduction of the arthropods is otttside a pressure duct. Also hereby it is possible to take additional measures for

improvement  of  an  equal  distribution  of  the  arthropods,

will  be  discussed  later.

When  the  arthropods  are  introduced  in  the  force_d gas

flow in a pressure 4uct, further spacial measures should be S taken to avoid the probletM of the state of tha art.

This may for example be achieved by introducing the arthropods in the proximity of the exhaust in the free apace of the pressure. duct. Hereby the distance and time of their' path through the pressure duct is limited. Introduction in

10    the proximity of the exhaust of the pressure duct takes place by introducing the arthrOpods, such that the relation 1/d :!0. 2 is complied with. In this 1 is the distance in the blow

direction of the introduction position of the arthropods to the exhaust of the pressure duot, and d is the diameter of

~5 the exhaust of the pressure duCt. Preferably 1/d ~ 1, more preferably ,; l/2, aven more preferably " l/3, even trore preferably J; 1/4, most pretez:ably ' 1/5.

Alternatively, according to a f~her preferred embodiment, the• forced gas flow may at least partially be

20    directed from a first duct• having a first diameter in a second duct having a second diameter, 'llbich second diameter is larger than the first diameter, and in addition to this a third duct is provided having an exhaust also running into

the  second  duct.  In  this• embodiment  a  first  component  of  the

25    forced gas flow having a first gas velocity is directed through the first channel and through the third channel a second componf;'nt of a •forced gas flaw having a second gas velocity lower than the f!irst gas velocity ie directed. The

arthropods  m&y  hereby 'be  introduced  in  the  forced  gas  flow  'r1y

30    introducing them in the second: duct in the• blow direction before or after expansion of the first component of the forced gas flow.

Due to the difference in gas velocity ot the Urst component of the torced gas flow and. the second component ot the: forced gas flow in the second duot after the exhaust of the d.rst duct a (combined) forced gas" flow having an axial

5    veloo_ity  gradient  will  be  created .

.The first and second component of the forced gas flow may be formed. as separate gas flows by separate gas displacers, adjusted to generate gas flaws having differing gas velocities.

10 Alternatively the firSt corrq;»>nent may .be formed with a gas displacer and the second component is formed by connectin:J the third channel with the outer air. Due to the gas displacement in the second channel, caused by the forced gas flow, which nows via •the first channel in the second

15    channel, air .from o~tside will be suc~ed into the first channel. Thie sucked in outside air will in general have a lower gas flow and as :suc;lh may: function as th.e second.

component.

In  a  further  alternative  methOd  the  first  and  second

20    component of the forced gas flow are formed by separating the forced gas flow in a first. component having a relatively high gas velocity and a second component having a relatively low

gas  velocity.  '!'his  may  be  achieved  by  designing  the  first  and

second  channel,  such  that  the  first  channel  has  a  sma.lle:l:'

25    diameter than the second channel.• Hereby the first chs:nnel may :be placed in the second channel. '!'he space between the first channel and the second ehannel hereby serves as the

third  channel.  By  providing  in  the  third  channel  a  material

that  limitedly  allows  a  gas  flow  to  pass,  the  forced  gas


having an axial velocity gradient is formed. Any means that may resist free flow of t~ forced gas flow my be used to decelerate the gas flow in the third channel. A ~uita:ble means for instance is a perforated plate.

In the f:ree expanding part of the forced g:as flow the arthropoc!s are carried along. Under influence of amongst others the forces of the forced gas flow, the gravity and the friction forces they will obtain a certain flight path.

In  the  method  according  to  the  invention  the  forced

10    gas flow is generated or directed above the crop, wherein the useful arthropods are to be distributed. This may be achieved Dy placing the gas displacer above the crop and/or by placing an exhaust of a duct system directing the forced gas flow

from  the  gas  d.isplacer  above  the  crop.

15 While simultaneously introducing-the beneficial arthropods in the forced gas flow, •the gas displacer may be moved above the crop, preferably in a stt::aight movement. Moving the gas displacer preferably takes place in a essentially horizontal plane. In addition to this, moving the

20    gas displacer preferably ia such that the direction of movel!ISnt has a directional component perpendicular to the direction of the gas displacement. Most preferably the forced gas flow ia moved in an essentially horizontal plane,

essentially  perpendicular  to  the  di-rection  of  the  forced  gas

25    flow.

A direction having a directional component perpendicular to the direction of the forced gas flew is, such as the skilled person will urtderetand, a direction deviating from the direction of the forced gas flow or

30    c!e"viillting from the opposite direction. Or in other words, the direction having a directional component perpendicular to the direction of the forced gas flow makes an angle with the

direction  of  the  forced  gas  flow  larger  than  0'  and  smaller

than 180'.

Moving the gas dieplacer may be achieved by moving the: gas displllcer itself aM/or an exhaust of a duct system

5    directing the forced air flow from the gas displacer. This may be achieved automatically, for instance by using an automated transport system. Bxantples of such trartsport systems are rolling and h&nging transport systems, for instBilce a ITOilorail system used for spraying robots known in

10    the greenhouse agriculture. In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the inventiori the gas displacer ie moved by means of a spraying robot .

In  a  preferred  embodiment  the  forced  gas  flow  is

generated  such  that  the  arthropoda  are  blown  over  a  number  of

15    metres of maximal 0,5-8 metres, preferably about 3-6 metres, more preferably about 4-6 metres, even more pre~erably about 4 metres. This maximal blowing distance is well suited for use within greenhouse agricUlture. When using a forced gaa flow that is strong enough to achieve this, ~he chance is big

20    that in the first metres, after the point of introduction of the arthropods in the- forced gas flow no arthropods will be distributed. This may cause an uneven distribution of the arthropods .

According  to  a  further  preferred embodiment  of  the

25    method therefore a fraction of the arthropods is blown by a gas flow, the counter gaa flow( in a direction having a

di-rectional component perpendicular to the direction of the forced gas flow. Preferably the fraction of arthropods ie blown by the counter gas flow in a direction.. also having a

30    directional corrponent opposite to the direction of the forced gas flow. Hereby it is prevented that this part of the arthropoda will end up in the forced gas flow, Instead, this part is blown besides the forced gas flow and will fall •at a

distance, where otherwise no arthropods would land becauae of the high power of the gas flow. In this embodiment it is preferable that the arthropods are. intro_duced in the forced

gas  flow  at  a  certain  distance  from  the  generation  of  'the

S    forced gas flow. Preferably the fraction of arthropods is blown by the counter gas flow. ~fore the arthropods are introduced into the forced g~e flow.

As  the  skilled person  will  understand,  a  direction

having  a.  directional  component  oPPosite  to  the direction  of

10    the forced gas flow 'lnl'lkesan angle with th.l!!! direction of the forced gas tlow larger than 90' and smaller or equal to 180'.
Preferably  about  10•  to  30,,  mere  preferably  15,-::i!Ot

of  tb.e  arthropods  is  blown by the  counter  gas  flow.

The  counter  gas  flow  may  for  exarrple  be  generated  by

15    a means that is also suitabll!l for generating the foreed gas flow. It should be understood that the means for generating the counter gas flow may }lave smaller dimensions than the means for generating the forced gas flow. The counter gas

flow  for  axample  is  s¢table  to  blow  the  arthropods  over  a

20    horizontal dista~ce of maximal 0,3-1, 5 metres, mere preferably 0, 5-1 metre, tNJet preferably O, B-1 metre.

In an alternative embodiment of the method for generating the counter gas flO\If t!( part of the forced gas flow may be direct thro"U.gh a duct. The inlet of the duct hereby is

25    positioned such that tha forced gas flow may enter it . The outlet of the duct is positioned such that the gas flow exiting from it may function as counter gas flow.

In  a  further  preferred  embodiment  of  the  method

multiple  forced  gas  flowe  are  generated  in differing

30    directions. These two differing directions preferably are perpendicular tc each other. In all directions of the forced gas flow the method. may be perfoxmed •in ac:cord.ance to one of the above mentioned embodiments,
In a furttler preferred embOdiment of the invention a nebulieed fluid is directed into the forced gas flow. Beneficial arthropods may corrQilriee allergens. Also beneficial arthropods such as predatory mi~es may be cOITibined with other

5    mites or other arthropods, for example such as in the mite COtftPOBitian described in WO 2006/057552. These added mite.e~, or other arthropods may also be a source of allexgens~ Due• to

blowing  of  the  arthropods  their  allergens  may  be  spread,  This

may  cause  problems  to  persons •who are  (over)  sensitive  to

10    these allergens. It has been shown that nebulising a fluid in the forced gas flow reduces problems in relation to spreading of allergens. It is taught that the allergens at least

partially are captured in the nebulised fluid, and thereby settle faster. Means for nebulisation of fluids are known to

15    the  skilled  person.

The nebulised fluid may suitably be selected from water and aolutione comprieing water. For certain applications of certain life stages of certain arthropods, such as pupae or eggs, it is preferred to add an adhesive to

20    the nebulieation fluid. Hereby these life stages may stick to various substrates such aill plant parts. A suitable adhesive is for example carboxymethyloellulose.

The method aecording to the invention is applicable in agriculture in general and (greenhouse) horticulture in

25    general. Of particular interest is that the method according to the invention makes it po111sible to distribute beneficial arthrop®s efficiently in Chysc1Ulthernum species

{chrysanthemum)  production ..

The invention further relates to a devioe suitable 30 for performing the above described method.

The device compriseS a reservoir suitable for holding a number of arthropods that may be distributed by blowing.


'I'he  reservoir  iS provided With  a  number  of  exits  for  the

arthropods.

The  device  f~rther comprises  a  gas  displacer  suitable

for  g8nerating  a  forced gas  flow,  whi.Ch  forced  gas  flow  is

5    suitable for blowing the beneficial arthropods that may be blown. 1'h.e fm1ction, operation and suitable means that may serve as gas displacer are discussed in relation 'co the method according to the invention.

Furthermore,    the  device  comprises  means  to  direct  the

10    arthropods from th~ reservoir via the exits in the forced gas flow. The function, operation e.nd. suitable mean151 that may be used to direct the arthropods from the reservoir via the exits in the forced g~:t.s flow, are discussed in relation to

the metklod  according  to  t~ invention.

l5 'I'he. device is further characterised. in that the device comprises ~n~ for. generating a number of gas flows

having an axia~ veloc~ty gr~~ent, and the ~ana for directing tbB aithropod.B in the -forced gas f:Low are adjusted to introduce the arthropods in or• in 'the proximity of a gae

20    flow  having  an  axial  velocity gra~ient.

The means for generating a Il\.UIIJ:ler of gas flows having an axial velocity gradient c:!omprise for example expansion means. 'I'heskilled person will ~rstand that a gas flow may be expanded by directing the gas flow fM !lil exhaust from a

:25 pressure duct. Suitable expansion means for example are means to allow the forc:ed galil flow to expand. in free space.
The measures in :relation to the expansion ot' the gas flow will be understood by 'che skilled person after reading the above mentioned description in relation to the method
30    according  to  the  invention.

In a preferred embodiment the device• according to the inwntion comprises meema to actuate the device. The device herein may be actuated by making use of actuation means which

are part of the device, or alternatively the device may be loaded on a different device having actuation means. In both alternatives it is possible .to act~te the device over the ground or hanging on a transport. system. These transport

5    means in a different praferred .embodiment are suitable to actuate the device along a rail system, having a number of rails, such as a monorail. Hereby the device according to the invention ia actuated comparable to a spraying robot~ used in

greenhouse  horticulture,  for  example  for  the  production  of

10    cb.zysantb:emwn species. According to a further preferred embodiment the actuation means are suitable to aotuate the device in a. d.ire.ction having a directional component perpendicular to the direction of the forced gaa flow.

The  operation  and  function  of  the  above mentioned

15    elements of i:.he device according to the invention and those of the various preferred eml?odimente, which form part of the claims, will be understood. by the skilled person in view of the above description of the method. according to the invention, the attached drawings and the accompanying

2.0    description  to  the  drawings.

The device according to the invention in preferred embodiment !a presented in the attached drawings, wherein:

H figure 1 provides a schematic overview of a number of alternatives for forming a gas flow having an axial velocity
2 5    gradient,

- figure 2 provides a perspective overview of an embodiment of the device accozding to the invention,

H figure 3 provides a side view of an embodiment of the device according to the invention, as this is installed in a

3 0    greenhouse,  and

- figure 4 shows a side view. •Qf an embodiment of the device, as shown in figurl!l 1, installed in a greenhouse.

A gas  flow  having  an  axial  velocity  gradient  may  be

generated by allowing  a  torced  gas  flow  to  expand  from  a

pressure  duct  20  at  an  exbaust  21,  as  shown  in  figure  1.   If

the  arthropods  are  introduced  in  the• gas  flow  having  an  axial

5    vl!':locity gradient at the poSition of arrow 22 outside the pressure .duct, it is not necessary to take additional measures to prevent damage to tbe arthropods .

If  the  arthropods  are  introduced  in  the  pressure

duct,    this  may  be  achieved by introducing• them  in  the  forced

10    gas flow at a shorter distance from the exhaust 22 in the pressure duct at the arrow 23. Por this position the condition 1/D < 2 is fulfilled,

Alternatively in the pressure duct a gas flow having an axial velocity gradient may be formed. This may be

15    achieved by inserting in the pressure duct 20 a second duct 24 having an exhaust 25. In the space between the second duct 24 and the first duct 20 furthermore a gas deceleration means 30 is provided, here a perforated plate. The gas deceleration

means  decelerate  the  forced  9'as  flow,  :indicated  with  the

20 double arrows 215, whereby a.. decelerated gas flow, presented by the broken double arroWs 27, • ia forroecl. Because the forced gas flow may pass the second duct 24 essentially undisturbed, thus after the exhaust 25 cf tl1e second dUct 24 .a gas flow having an axial velocity .gradient is created in the duct 20.

25 Because a gas flow having an axial velocity gradient flows through cMnnel 20, it is possible to introduce the arthropoda in the forced gas tlow at a position after the exhaust 25 of duct 24 in duct 26, for example at the arrow 2a. If the de.celerated gas flow 21 is sufficiently strong to

30    carry the arthropods, the arthropods may even be introduced at a position between the gas deceleration means 30 and. the exhaust 25 of the second duct 24, for example at arrow 29.

Figure  2  shows  a.n' embod.irnent  of  the  device  accorc:Ung

to  the  invention.  The  device  conpdaes  a  houl!le  1  having  two

e:dlauat  openinQ11  3 ,  of  which  in  this  view  c:mly  one  is

visible.  In  use  t:he  forced  gu  flow  exits  these  exhe.UIIt

5    openings 3, In this embodiment of the device the gas flow is generated by rotors, driven bY an'' electronw:>tor. For the

suction of air in the house 1, •opposite to the exhaust openings 3 inlet op&niJl9's • 4 are provided, of which in this view only one is visible. .Before the exhaust: openings 3 and.

10    inlet openings 4., all a safety precaution a grid is provided to shield the rotors. The deVice further ccmprisea reservoirs 5 for holding the beneficial arth:r:opoda. These rese:t:VOirs in this emhodiinent of the device according to the in'\rention have the form of a cylinder with a bottom. In th.e mantle of the

15    cylinder openings 6 are provided; The bottom of the cylinder is connected with t:he driving shaft• of an alectrornctor 7. Hereby in use the reservoir may be rotated around the axis of the cylinder mantle. During rotation of the reservoirs 5 the

beneficial  arthropods  will,  under  the  influence  of grevity,

.20    exit the openings 6 in a dosed faShion and will enter the forced. gas flaw,

The beneficial arthropods will be carried along by the forced gae flow in a pi.\th comparable to a horizontal toss. Hereby in general they will land at a. certain dietance
25    of  the  device,  with  a  certain  spreading.  This  may  cause  that

directly llrlderneath the device and .in the proximity thereof no or hardly any benefic1!!ll insects may land. :ro prevent this, the device in the presented embodiment comprises means for generating a. gas flow having D. din:ction with a

30    directional component, opposite to the direction of the forced gas flow and a directional component perpendicular to

the direction of the foroed gas flow, In the embodiment, as presented in figure 2, this is a tube e having an inlet 9 and

an outlet 10. The• inlet of the tube a i~ positioned wch that a part of the forced gae flow enters it . This entering air flow i~ directed through th~ inner space of the tube a, and exits t'be outlet 10 positioned after a bend in the tube, such

5    that the couD.ter gas flow is created. Jtereby a part of the art~s that fall from opening 6 from the reservoir 5 during use are blown besides the forced air flow. Ihle to this the arthropods will also, to a certain extent, laru:i lJil.der the device and in the proximity thereof. Hereby a more equal

lO    spreading  of  the  beneficial  arthropoda  ia  obtained.

Por hanging  the  device  on a  spraying  robot,  the

device  is provided with  hooka  11.  This  provides  a.  solution for  the:  labour  intensive  chancter of  spreading  beneficial arthropods.  Ae  euch,  the  device  according  to  the  invention lS   may be  actuated  above  the  crop along  a  transPort  system of

the  spraying  robot.  Alternatively  the  device  may  have  its  own

driving  mechaniam  for  transport  along  its  own  transport

system.  or  th.e  tranaport  system of  the  spraying  robot.

The  device  in  figure  2  is. miZTOr  symmetr-ical,  meaning

20    that the back side, which is not visible, ia identical to the front side shown.

In figure 3 the device according to the invention in an embodiment is shown in a side view. The device in thia

embodiment  is  installed  for  use  in a  greenhouse.  By  using

25    hooks U the device is installed. on the transport system 12 of the spraying •robot.

In figure 4 the device according to the invention is shown in a different view, ae ).t is installed in a

greenhouse. In use the device will be moved along a transport JO system 14 in the direction of the broken arrow. In two

opposite direotions the foreed gas flow is generated~ perpendicular to the direction of movement. As auch, the beneficial arthropods may be distributt~d efficiently in the


crop,  by  moving  1:.he  spraying  robot  and  siraultaneously  blowing

the  beneficial  insects  sidewarda.  After  tile  distribution

(di~reion) o•f the arthropoda the•d,evice may be moved ~ck to t~ starting position (in the direcition of the ~ttokSn
5    arrow) . Via a shunting device the device may thereafter be guided ~o a diff'erent track for distributing beileficial arthropoda .

Clalm&

1.  Method  eomprieing:

(i)    providing in a reservoi-r a number of beneficial arthropods to be distributed in a crap, which reservoir is provided with a nwnber of exits for

the  arthropods 1

{ii)    providing  a  gas  displacer  suitable  fo:r:  generating

a  forced  gas  flow  in  a  blow  direction;

10    (iii)    generating  with  the  gas  dil!llplacer  a  forced  gas

flow  in  the  blow  direction;

(iv}    directing  the  arthropods  from  the  exits  in  the

forced  gas  flow,  such  that  they  are  carried  along

in  the  blow  direction;

15    characterised in that, the forced gas flow at least partially comprises an axial velocity gradient and the arthropoda are introduced in or in the proximity of a part of the forced gas flow having an axial velocity gradient and preferably the

introduction  of  the  arthropods  in  the  forced gas  flow  is

20    such, that in their radial path, meaning perpendicular to the blow direction, they m:we in the direct!~ of the increasing velocity through a pa.:r:t of the forced gas flow having an axial V"elocity gradient,

2.    Method  according  to  clai~ 1,  wherein  the

25    arthropods are introduced in a part of the forced gas flow having an axial velocity gradient.

3, Method according to claim ::2, wherein the axial velocity gradient is obtained by•expanding at least a

component of the forced gas flow, for example in free spe.ce. 30 4. Method according to claim 3, wherein the

arthropods are introduQed in the forced gas flow by introducing them in the blow direction b&fore expansion of at least a. component of the forced gas flow.

5 . Method a.ccordiitg to any of the cla.ima 3, wherein the arthropods are introduced in the forced .gas flow by introducing them in the blow diiection after expansion of at least a CO'IrlpOnl!mt of the forced gas flow.

6.  Method  according  to  aily of  the  claims  3-5,  wherein

expansion  of  at  least  a  component  of  the  forced  gas  flow  is

achieved  by directing  the  torcad gas  flow  at  least  partially

from  tbe  exhaust  of  a  fii:st  duct  having  a  first  diameter  to  a

second  duct  having  a  second diameter,  which  second  diameter

10    is  larger  than  the  first  diameter.

7.  Method  according  to  claims  6,  wherein  a  third  duct

is  provided  having  an  exhaust  also  leading  to  the  second

challill!ll,    a  first  component  of  the  forced  gas  flow  having  a

first  gas  velocity  is  directed  in  the  first  channel,  through

15    the third channel a second component of the forced gas flQW having a second gas velocity larger than the first gas velocity is directed, and wherein the arthropods are introduced in the forcQd gas flow by introducing them in the second duct in the blow direction before expansion Qf the

20    first  component  of  the  force<i  gas  flow  in  the  seconci  duct.

B.    Method  according  to  claims  6,  wherein  a  third

channel is provided having an exhaust abutting the exhaust of the first channel, a first compone:nt of the forced gas flow having a first gas velocity is directed through the first

2 s channel, through the third channel• a second component of the forced gas flow having a second g~s velocity lower than the t'irst gas velocity is directed, and wherein the arthropods are introduced in the fOrced gas flow in the second channel by introducing them in the blow direction after expansion of

30    the first eomponent of the forced gas flow in the second channel.

9. Method. according to a:ay of the elaims l•B, wherein the gas displacer is moved above• the crop in a direction
having a dire~tional component perpendicular to the direction of the gas flow,

, 10. Method according to any of the previous claims, wherei"n the gas dieplacer is moved in an essentially

5    h.ori zontal  plane.

;11 • Method according to any of the previous claims, wherein the gas displacer is moved in an essentially straight

line.

12. Method according to any of the previous claims, 10 wherein the gas dieplacer is selected from a rotor or a gas
container  comprising  a  compressed  gas.

13. Method acCOX'd.ing to aey of the: previous clairne, wherein the forced gas flow is generated above the crop and

the  arthropods  are  introduced  in  tM  forced  gas  t.low  above

15    the  crop.

14.  Method  according  to  any  of  the  previous  claims,

wherein  the  forced  gas  flow  h&s  a  power  adjus'!red  to  blow  the

arthropods  over  a  hOrizontal  distance  of  at  most  about  o,s-B

metre,  preferably  about  3~6 metre,  more  preferably  al:x:>ut  4~6

20    metre,  most  preferably  about  5  metre.

lS. Method according to any of the previous cla:Lrne, wherein a fraction of the arthropods is blown by a second gas flow, the counter gas flow, in a direction having a directional component perpendicular to the direction of t.he

25 forced gas flow, •preferably before introcluction in the forced gal!l flow.

115. Method according to claim 14, wherein the fraction of the arthropoda is blown by the counter gas flow in a direction also having a directional component opposite

30    to  the  direction  of  the  fo-rced  gas  flow.

17. Method acCOrding to any of the previous cl$ims, when.in multiple, for example two, forced gas flows are generated, preferably in differing directions, more

preferably in opposite direc::tions, and wherein the beneficial arthropods are introduced in each ~f tbese forced gas :t'lo:ws •.

18. Method• according to any of the previous claims, wherein a nebulised fluid is introduced in the forced gas
5    flow.

19. Device- comprising a reservoir suitable for holding a number of beneficial arthropods to be distributed in a crop, which reservoir is provided with a number of exits for the arthx'opods, a gas displacer suitable for gener.,ting a

10    forced gas flow in a blow direction, which forced gas flow is suitable to carry along the beneficial arthropods in the blow direction, and means for directing the arthropods from the reservoir via the exits in the forced gas flow, characterised in that the device comprises means for generat:lng an axial

15    velocity gZ.adient in the forced gaB flow, and the means for directing the arthropods in the foreed gas flow are designed to introduce the arthropods in or in the proximity of a pa:r:t of the forced air flow having. Em axial velocity gradient,

preferably  such  that  the  arthropods  in  their  radial  path,

20    meaning perpendicular to the blow direction, move in the direction of the increasing velocity in a part of the forced

gas  flow  having  an  axial  velocity  gradient.

20. Device .according to• claim 19, 'Wherein the means for introducing the arthropods in the proximity of a part of

25    the forced gas flow having an axial velocity gradient are designed to introduce the arthroppds in a part of the forced

gas  flow  having  a.n  axial  velocity gradient.

21.  Devic:e  according  to  claima  19~'20, l"herein  the

means  for  forming  an  axial  velocity  gradient  comprise

30    expansion means, for examplA means• to allow the forced gas flow to expand in free space.

22.  Device  according  to  claims  21i  wherein  the

expansion  means  comprise  a  first  duct. baving  a  first.  exhaust

having  a  first  diameter  and a  second  duat having  a  second

exhaust  and.  a  second diameter  larger  than• the  :t:irat  diameter,

and ~rein the first exhaust in the blow direction is placed befMe the second duct and encloses the body or the second
5    duct.

.  :23.  Device• according  to  claim 22,  comprising  a  th!pj

channel  having  a.n exhaust  also  enclosed by the  body  of  the

second  duct,  and meane  for• fol'aling  in  the  first  cbamlel  a

first  component  of  the  forced  gas  flow  having  a  first  gas

10    velocity, means for forming in the third channel a second component of the forced gas flow having a second gas velocity lower than the fi:ret gas velocity, and. means to introduce the arthrogods in the blow direction before expansion of the

first  c:omponent  of  the  forced  gas  flow  in  the  second  duct .

15    24.  DeviceJ=  according  to  ch.J.ms  22,  coq~rising a  third

duct  M.ving •an ex:lWJ•at  als_o  enc-losed by the  body of  the

second  duc:t,  and  means  for _forming  in  the  fiz;ost  channel  a

first  component• of  th~ •forced  gas  flc:>w  having  a  first  gas

velocity,  means  for  forming  in  the  third  duct  a  secotld

20    coll'q)Orumt of the forced gas flow having a second gaa veloei"ty lower than the: first gas ve:loQity, and means to introd.UC!e the arthropods in the forced gas flow in the blow direction after
expansion  of  the  first  CO!t'pOW!!mt  of  the  fort:ed  gas  flow  in

the  second duct.

25 25. Device according to claims 19-::U, wherein the means for introducing the arthropods in the foroed gas flow are placed in the blow direction .before expansion means.

26. Device according to any of the claims lSI-21, wherein the lfl8ans :ror intrOducing• the arthropods in the

30    forced gas flow are placed in . the. blow direction after expansion means ,

27. Device according to any of the claims 19-26, further comprising means suitable "•to actuate~ tha device,
preferably in a direction having a dtreC"tional component: perpendicular to the direction ot' t)le forced gas flow,

2B.  Device  according  to  eny  of  the  claims  19-2?,

comprising  a  gas  displacer  aelected  from  a  rotor  or  a  gas

5    container  with  a  compressed  gas.

29.  Device  according  to  any  of  the  claims  19-38,

designed  to  generate  the  forc:ed  ge.s  flow  above t)le  Cl:Op  and

to  introduoe  the  arthropoOs  above  the  crop in the  forced  gas

flow.

lO    30,  Device  according  to  any of  the  claims  19-29,

wherein  tbe  gas  displacer  is  adjusted  to  generate  a  gas  flow

having a power suitable to blo• the arthropods over a horizontal distance of at the most about 0,5-8 metree, preferably about '!-6' metres, mon preferably about 4.-6'

lS    metres,  meet  preferably  &bout  S metres.

31. Device ac:c:ording to any of the claims 19-30, further comprising means for. generating a eecond gas flow,_ the counter gas flow, suitable •to blow a fraction of the arthropods in a direction having &. .directional component

20    perpendicular to the direction of the forci!!d gas flow, preferably before introduction into the f03:'ced gas flow.
32.    Device  acaorcfi.ng claim  31,  wherein  the  means  for

generating the counter gas flow are suitable to 'blow the fraction of the arthropoda in a direction also having a

~5  directional  component  opposite  to  the  direction  of  t;he  forced

gae  flow.

33. Device according tO any of the claims 19-32, comprising multiple, fo:r example two, gas displacera,

positioned  such  that  they  may  generate  the  forced  gu  flows

30    in  different  direc,tions,  pre.ferably  in  opposite  dirllletions.

34.    Device  according  to• any  of  the  cla1me  19-33,

furthE!r  comprising  b.  container  for  a  fluid  &lld  meant~ to

nebul1se  the  fluid,  which  means  for  nebuliaing  the  fluid  &re
 

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