Evaluation of a novel bumble bee pollination station under summer greenhouse conditions

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Journal of Apicultural Research Vol. 53 (3) pp. 408-412
DOI 10.3896/IBRA.1.53.3.09
Date July 2014
Article Title Evaluation of a novel bumble bee pollination station under summer greenhouse conditions

Author(s) Fernando Diánez Martínez, Francisco J Sevilla García, Milagrosa Santos Hernández and Francisco Camacho Ferre


Abstract In several world regions, greenhouse horticultural production is characterized by the use of simple low cost structures with limited climate control. Conditions in these are especially hard for bumble bee colonies during the summer months. Several factors can limit bumble bee activity and thus fruit set, including high temperatures, high radiation and poor quality and low volumes of pollen. In 2009 we carried out experiments to determine the influence of a commercial bumble bee “pollination station” on hive climate parameters and hive performance in tomato greenhouses under extreme summer environmental conditions. We found that air temperature and humidity fluctuation during the day was lower for the hives in the pollination station compared to control hives. Final numbers of adult bees and cocoons, and daily colony traffic were significantly higher (54%, 43% and 50.5% respectively) in the pollination stations than in control hives. This is the first report of a pollination station for bumble bees.

Keywords Bombus terrestris, flight activity, tomato pollination, hive performance

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