Wireless Beehome improves performance of bumblebees in tomatoes under artificial light

Koppert Biological Systems' new 'Wireless Beehome' wireless control system has been developed to automatically open and close the flight holes of hives at the required times.

Self-evidently, assimilation lighting alters the lighting conditions in glasshouses: the days are longer, and in the winter months the artificial light 'which contains little UV light' often dominates over natural light. Bumblebees have difficulty with their orientation in the absence of sufficient UV light, and consequently perform sub optimal which in turn is detrimental to pollination. The existing Beehome system already made it possible to open and close the flight holes at the appropriate times, thereby ensuring that the bumblebees leave the hive only in the most favourable light conditions. This is not only beneficial to the pollination performance; it is also beneficial to the development and lifespan of the colonies. The new Wireless Beehome now offers automatic control of the opening and closing of the flight holes.

The Wireless Beehome system requires a receiver for each bumblebee hive and a central transmitter for each location. The receiver, which is fitted to the bumblebee hive, automatically opens and closes the flight holes as commanded by the central transmitter used to control the grower's Wireless Beehomes. The times at which the flight holes are opened and closed can be controlled using one of two methods:
o via a link between the climate-control computer and the central transmitter, or
o by means of a time switch (available separately) that controls the central transmitter

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