Bombus impatiens aka Bumble Bees
WKBHA - Class A / 100+ Workers plus 1 Queen
WKBHB - Class B / 75+ Workers plus 1 Queen
WKBHC - Class C / 45+ Workers plus
Bumblebee Hive is a completely maintenance-free, easy-to-monitor, safe and simple hive for its bumblebees. The BIOGLUC® bottle is located at the bottom of the hive, underneath the plastic nest box containing the brood (eggs, larvae and pupae). Thanks to its ingenious feeding system, the bumblebees can feed on the BIOGLUC® when they are in the brood compartment. The feeding system contains a wick which transports the BIOGLUC® out of the bottle to the brood compartment thanks to its capillary functioning. The cover and the nest box have several ventilation openings, which provide good ventilation and prevent condensation. The housing is made of solid, recyclable cardboard with a moisture-resistant coating. Each hive is equipped with a 2 kg bottle of BIOGLUC®, sufficient for the entire life of the colony. The construction of the feeding system makes leaking impossible. It gives no access to wasps, wild bees and ants and allows easy checking of the BIOGLUC®-level. The hive has two flight openings. The standard flight opening is used under normal conditions. A tapered tube is attached to hole no. 2, which creates a time-controlled lock-in system. When this valve is open, the bumblebees can enter but are unable to get out. Thanks to the easy switching of the flight openings, the bumblebees can be "locked in" at any time during the day.
Advantages of using bumblebees:
Bumblebees are excellent pollinators under difficult circumstances: Unlike honeybees, bumblebees are active at low temperatures (5°C/41°F), in windy conditions and under cloudy skies. Since our bumblebees are available year round, they are well suited for pollination of even early and late season crops.
Bumblebees are versatile workers: Bumblebees are not only excellent pollinators in open air, but are especially valuable in greenhouses and plastic tunnels.
Bumblebees are tremendous labor savings: Bumblebees can completely replace manual pollination and use of hormones, resulting in less labor costs.
Bumblebees produce higher fruit production and quality: In crops, such as tomatoes, peppers and blueberries, bumblebee pollination results in higher yield as well as larger and higher quality fruits.
Bee Hive can be introduced when the first flowers open. In winter, a minimum of 2 hives per acre is used at the start of a round tomato crop. Followed by two weekly introductions of approximately one hive per acre. When a crop starts in summer, more hives are needed at the start, minimum 4-5 per acre. It is recommended to place some extra hives in spring when the outdoor vegetation starts to flower, since this flowering makes a proportion of the workers leave the greenhouse.
Bumblebees require pollen as a protein source for the build-up of the colony. They also need nectar as a carbohydrate (sugar) source. Since the flowers of certain plants (e.g. tomatoes) do not produce any nectar, the colony needs to be provided with a sugar solution.
BIOGLUC®, a ready-to-use food solution was developed consisting of a sugar solution, a preservative and a coloring agent which aids the monitoring of the food level. BIOGLUC® keeps well for at least 6 months in a cool, dark place.
Class A - Hive has an expected life span of 10 weeks.
Class B - Hive has an expected life span of 8 weeks.
Class C - Hive has an expected life span of 4 weeks.
Strategic Considerations: Close CO2 lines in case they are close to the bumblebee hives. Let the colonies calm down for at least one hour after placement before opening the flight hole. Close and remove the colonies prior to the application of pesticides (if advised so by your consultant). Feed additional pollen in case flowers do not produce sufficient pollen. Adapt introduction schedule prior to heavy blossoming outside the greenhouse in spring. Watch out for continuous high humidity’s as a result of poor ventilation.