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NATUPOL Beehive

Bombus terrestris

 

Unit of packaging

General species: Bombus terrestris (earth bumblebee)

For USA, Canada and Mexico: Bombus impatiens

Contains: colony with queen, workers and brood (pupae, eggs and larvae), bag with sugar solution.

Hive types are available with different pollination capacities.

 

Precautions

Bumblebees are attracted by colorants and odours, as well as by blue clothing, after shave, make-up etc. Bumblebees are not agressive but they might sting in self-defence. This usually only leads to local itchy swelling. This is not alarming. Azaron (available in drugstore) releases pain and itching.

Some people however can show oversensitive reaction: pain and itching on other places than where stung, or sometimes even over the entire body. Other possible symptoms are: red skin, blisters, respiratory problems, sickness, sneezing, irritation of nostrils, throat or eyes.

 

In those cases consult a doctor immediately. Click here for more information about stings.

 

Use

For optimal fruitset of tomato crops and many other crops. Both protected and outdoors.

 

Introduction

  • place the hives preferably evenly distributed along the south-side of the main path in the greenhouse in order to have the maximum shade from the crop in summer
  • the best position is on a horizontal platform (avoid inclination else sugar solution may leak). Koppert supplies specially designed bumblebee hive supports for this purpose, which can easily be mounted onto the greenhouse stanchions
  • one hive support can carry two hives maximum
  • make sure each hive on a support points to to a different direction
  • before opening the flight hole, allow the colonies to calm down minimum half hour after placing on final position
  • whenever possible, open flight hole when vents are closed to prevent loss of workers

 

Environmental conditions

  • Natupol performs best at ambient temperatures of 10-30°C/50-86°F
  • place the hives preferably evenly distributed along the south side of the main path in the greenhouse in order to have maximum shade from the crop in summer. It may be necessary to provide extra shade (e.g. with styrofoam)
  • in the direct surrounding of the CO² supply, CO² concentrations can reach dangerous levels for the bumblebees. Therefore cut off any CO² supply in the immediate vicinity of the hive

 

Special points of attention for crops grown under artificial light

  • bumblebees need UV light for their orientation. When artificial light dominates the natural, bumblebees have problems with their orientation in the greenhouse, especially during the darkest months of the year
  • distribute the hives evenly along the pathway, on a visible place, approximately 2 meter above the ground level, if possible with flight hole facing eastwards
  • open newly placed hives on the day after they are placed, on the lightest moment of the day
  • tomato flowers are open during a certain amount of time after plants receive light (natural or artificial). Bumblebees only fly in natural daylight. Therefore switch on the artificial light not before 2.00 a.m., to create enough hours where flowers can be pollinated ànd bumblebees are able to fly
  • use the BEEHOME system to let the bumblebees fly only during the lightest part of the day. Aim for minimum 4 hours of effective pollination per day. Open hives preferably during the period on the day when the natural light is expected to exceed 20 J/cm2,h. With the help of WIRELESS BEEHOME it is possible to manage this automatically
  • bumblebees may become damaged by flying against the lamps. Introduce extra hives to compensate for loss of workerbees. Preferably use larger (E or EE) colonies)
  • gradual increase of the hours artificial light per day contributes to a balanced crop with good flower quality

 

Compatibility

If chemical crop protection is needed, all workers can be collected in the hive by means of the BEEHOME system.

The hive contains two flight holes. Through one hole, bumblebees can fly in both directions. The other hole has the so-called Beehome feature: bumblebees can fly in, but not out. To achieve this, close the flight hole for two-way traffic. Within one hour, all bumblebees will have returned in the hive. Always consult the Koppert side effects information or your consultant before applying chemical pesticides.

 

Remarks

  • the sugar solution that is provided with the hive is generally sufficient for the entire life of the colony
  • secure the hive so that ants cannot enter it, f.e with a barrier of grease or insect glue
  • also avoid contact between plants and hive, since this can also be a way for ants to reach the hive
  • if pollination is required during a longer period, regularly place new hives in the greenhouse

 

Visual effect

When a bumblebee visits a tomato flower, it bruises the flower, resulting in visible 'bite marks'. One visit is enough for good pollination. It is recommended to check the bruising on the open flowers. In normal weather and plant conditions, the level of bruising should be between 90 and 100 % of the open flowers.

In most other crops bumblebees do not leave visible traces of their activity.

 

Important!

The introduction rates of this product should be adjusted to the mode of action of the product and the results that can be expected in the crop where the product is applied. Your local Koppert consultant or recognized distributor will be able to advise you further.

 

Only use products that are permitted in your country/state and crop. Check local registration requirements.
Koppert Biological Systems can not be held liable for unauthorized use.

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