"Live" money: we breed bumblebees, butterflies, crayfish

Agriculture Livestock

There are more than 2.5 thousand biotechnological companies in the world, but this figure can be considered underestimated, because, firstly, the criteria for classifying many companies as biotechnological are very subjective, and secondly, these statistics take into account only indicators of developed countries.

As of May 2002, 1, 457 biotechnology sector companies were officially registered in the United States, 342 of them were listed on the US and European stock markets, and the total capitalization reached $ 224 billion.


Attempts to "domesticate" bumblebees have been undertaken since the beginning of the 19th century. However, the success of the industrial breeding of these insects became possible after clarifying the effect of carbon dioxide on the ovogenesis of bumblebee queens, which made it possible to obtain offspring from them all year round. On this basis, from the 80s-90s, the technology of industrial breeding of bumblebees in a number of countries was developed. At present, more than 25 firms are known that annually produce about 500, 000 families. Of the known 300 species of bumblebees, a large earthen bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) became the predominant object of study. Since 1994 the families of this bumblebee began to be delivered to greenhouses in more than 18 regions of Russia from Israel, Belgium and the Netherlands. The purchase price of imported bumblebee families for farms ranged from 125 to 150 US dollars.

Why are bumblebees bred? Bumblebees are used as pollinators of many plant species. Especially productive is the use of bumblebees in greenhouses. Pollination with bumblebees of enclosed ground crops gives an increase of 5 to 25%, for some Russian farms it was 50%. Fruits obtained by pollination by insects are of higher quality.

How beneficial is it? Based on the developed technology, from the Teplichny state farm in the Ivanovo region from 1996 to 1998 more than 2, 500 bumblebee families were obtained at a cost price of 519 rubles. 29 kopecks for each (for purchases abroad - 771 rubles in prices until September 1, 1998). The use of bumblebee families of their own production brought profit to the state farm in 1996 and 1997. due to an increase in the tomato crop (14.8%, or 1.9 kg / m2) and the sale of bumblebee families to other households in the amount of about 3 million rubles. (in 1998 prices).

The work experience of the Bumblebee Laboratory at the Teplichny state farm of the Ivanovo Region shows that the developed domestic technology for industrial breeding and use of bumblebees allows one to get up to 8 new families during a year, and each ruble of its production costs provides the economy with up to 11.17 rubles of profit .


Rumors that there was a crayfish breeding farm in the village of Bagaevsky in the Rostov Region have been around for a long time, since pre-perestroika times. Did it exist at all? Why not? Industrial technologies for the breeding of crayfish exist and, with a competent approach, they can be grown in artificial reservoirs.

This business is successfully developing in other countries. Turkey is the leader here, where crayfish from Ukrainian reservoirs were brought in due time. It supplies up to 7 thousand tons of marketable crayfish annually to the foreign market; slightly less - Spain (3.5 thousand tons) and China (1 thousand tons).

For the breeding of crayfish, you can use specialized, farmer, as well as small private and household plots that have water bodies. There are two types of crayfish farms - pond and factory. The first is considered economically most advantageous, since the cultivation of crayfish is a rather laborious process. It is advisable for novice managers to start growing yearlings, the implementation of which, with a constant sales market, can yield significant profits. When breeding crayfish, the procurement of females with live caviar on pleopods (legs) and their transportation to crayfish farms is important. To grow 1 ton of crayfish, it is necessary to harvest 500-600 females; they are caught in natural reservoirs. On the farm (small ponds, pools or special apparatuses), the incubation of embryos located on pleopods is carried out. It is very important to create good water exchange and aeration of the water.

When breeding cancers, it is necessary to constantly monitor the quality of water, to control the amount of oxygen dissolved in it (at least 5 -7 mg / l) and hydrogen (7 -9 mg / l). Water exchange should be approximately 50 l / min per 1000 square meters. m of water area. You should also carefully study the natural fodder resources of the reservoir: algae, zooplankton, worms, weed fish, etc. The presence of a natural fodder base reduces the cost of growing yearlings and marketable crayfish. Crayfish producers are placed in ponds (area - about 0.1 ha, depth - 1 - 1.5 m, planting density - 1 -5 pcs. Per 1 sq. M). At water temperatures above 7 ° C, fresh or boiled feed (meat, slaughterhouse waste, vegetables, shellfish, etc.) is fed to the crayfish. The average daily intake should be 2% of the cancer body weight. Feed is placed on wooden trays (40x40 cm).

With the pond method for breeding cancers, the first stage larvae emerge in May -June. After the second molt, juveniles (animals that have not yet reached the size of adult crayfish) are caught and transplanted into the fallopian pond, and small crustaceans are grown to yearlings weighing 7-10 g. They can be reared in the same pond or transplanted into another one, in which the conditions satisfy the requirements wintering. The annual crayfish are caught and transplanted into feeding ponds, where the density of planting is lower than in the previous reservoir. At the end of the second or third year of life, crayfish reach a market weight of 40 - 50 g with a length of 9 - 10 cm.


Recently, agencies involved in organizing holidays have been offering their customers a new original service: a salute of live butterflies. The technology of the salute is simple: chilled, and therefore immovable butterflies (practice suggests that it is better when there are more than 50 of them) neatly fit into the box. Then, just before the launch, the box is slightly warmed up, the insects come to life and, as soon as the box is opened, will rush into a bright light. It is much more difficult to grow butterflies, especially rare species. Here, an entrepreneur can not do without the advice of an experienced entomologist.

How economically justified is the idea of ​​arranging “salutes” in closed rooms from living tropical butterflies or giving them as a gift? In my opinion, it is more than doubtful (at a retail price of $ 35-90 for one butterfly). On the other hand, if someone likes this type of gift, then why not? There would be a demand, but there will always be a supply!

In Moscow, several companies and individual entrepreneurs are engaged in the breeding and sale of live butterflies. In Rostov, this business is represented by the only metropolitan company, Butterfly World. The company breeds butterflies from Africa, Southeast Asia, America, Southern Europe.

In this article, we examined only three possible business options related to biotechnology. In fact, there are many more. Few people know that Argentina, for example, is a major exporter of experimental mice. They are purchased in large quantities by the laboratories of universities and research centers in the United States and Great Britain. Abroad are delivered not simple, but genetically modified mice. To conduct experiments with such animals is much more effective. So, ordinary laboratory mice, on the one hand, are the source of currency, and on the other, they demonstrate the level of scientific and technical potential of the country. To get some subspecies of Argentinean rodents for experiments, foreigners stand in line. Can the biotechnological business of Rostov entrepreneurs? Time will tell.


investment project expert, appraiser, director of the appraisal and consulting company "ICR-Consultant"

Author`s site: www.i-con.ru

* The article is more than 8 years old. May contain outdated data

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