- We recommend a minimum of 9 bumblebee hives per hectare when used as the only managed pollinators. Ideally space the bumblebee hives evenly throughout the crop.
- Bumblebees can also be used with honeybees to provide back up pollination when the weather is poor and honeybees won't pollinate, but keep the bumblebee hives as far away from any honeybee hives as possible.
Research in Scotland showed an increase in net profit of nearly $9000 NZ dollars when applying bumblebees as these rates in raspberries.
The Biology of Berries
Well pollinated flowers set more fruit, have more seeds, and produce well shaped and heavier fruit, all of which leads to higher yields. Cross-pollinated fruit is more likely to develop to maturity. Inadequate pollination results in reduced yields.
Bumblebees are much more active than honeybees during poor weather and will fly at significantly cooler temperatures, making them ideal pollinators for early flowering crops. The large size of a bumblebee assists in its deposition of pollen, and bumblebees have shown high mobility when foraging in orchards, increasing the likelihood of cross-pollination.