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Step 3: If crops are located in a greenhouse, open the garden hive when ventilation windows are closed (early evening). This prevents the bumble bees from leaving during their orientation flights.
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Bumble bees are important pollinators that usher in the start of spring and remind us of bright, warm summer days. In recent years, several of the species that occur in Wisconsin and the Midwest have been in decline. A host of factors including loss of flowers, expanding agriculture, diseases and parasites, as well as altered weather patterns have all taken their toll on these essential insects.
This website is meant to help share the fascinating life history and biology of bumbles, as well as teach how to identify and conserve them here in Wisconsin. Additionally, consider getting involved in bumble bee citizen science projects to help collect vital data for scientists across the region.
Boost pollination rates and improve yields in greenhouses and indoor growing with these hard-working bumble bees. By introducing these bees to your crops, you are not only helping the environment, you are helping your bottom line. These beneficial insects will improve fruit quality, increase productivity, save labor costs and provide pollination that is independent of weather conditions.
Advantages of Natupol Excel Bumblebee Hives: Ideal for greenhouses and indoor agriculture.Better resilience to lower temperatures, low light intensities and strong winds. Prefer 50-86F.Rapid workers - they are able to visit twice as many flowers per minute as honeybees.Larger than many other bees allowing them to carry more pollen and make better contact with stamens and pistils.Remain within released areas better than honeybees because they do not communicate in the same way. Should an individual bumblebee find an attractive food source elsewhere, it cannot inform its companions.Bumblebees move from plant to plant and tree to tree more often than honeybees. This aids cross-pollination and is especially helpful in fruit crops when pollination depends on special "pollinator trees".These hives contain Bombus impatiens, the common eastern bumblebee, and contain a single colony with a queen, workers and brood (pupae, eggs and larvae). Bombus impatiens has been carefully chosen because it is a native species and widely distributed in North America. These hives are not recommended for pollination of outdoor areas.
How To Set Up Your Natupol Hives: Natupol Excel hives perform at their best when the ambient temperature is between 50-86F. Introduce Excel Hives 4-7 days prior to flowering and Excel Startup Hives at the time of flowering. Place hives in the coolest part of the day. The bumblebees will start pollinating once flowers open. Place hives immediately after delivery, or a maximum of 1 day later, to allow the bumblebees to gather food. Wait 30 minutes after positioning the hive to open the doors. The shaking and general movement involved in transporting them can make the bees restless. This will give the bumblebees time to calm down. Place hives out of direct sunlight to help moderate temperatures within the hives. Make sure that the underside of the hives stay dry. Place them in locations where moisture collection is not an issue. Protect hives from strong winds by keeping them in sheltered spots or by weighting them down with a suitable object. Ensure the hive is stable and horizontal. This allows for easy access to the hive and helps to avoid spilling any of the sugar solution. Position the hives evenly throughout the plot to maximize results. Keep the hive entrance visible to bumblebees and humans during the flowering period. This can be accomplished by placing the hive on a stand, a crate or even a pile of stones.
Correct placement of your hives is crucial to optimum performance. Before you receive your hive, consider where you will be putting it. The following are some points to consider in your planning: Bumblebees and honeybees are compatible and can work together on the same crops. However, a bumblebee hive should be placed at least 100 meters away from a honeybee hive and out of sight of the honeybees. This will reduce chances of the honeybees becoming aware of and raiding the bumblebee hive for its sugar water. Ants are a threat to hives. They can and will invade a hive. Create a barrier around hives with hive grease or insect glue (used cautiously). Ants will also use plants to gain access to the hive, so avoid placing your hive where it can brush against plants. Remove any flowering weeds around the hive and pollination areas. This will focus the bees' efforts on your crop, not your weeds. Individual hives perform better than stacked hives. If you decide to stack your hives, be sure that they remain horizontal and have adequate stabilization. It is also recommended that you position each exit opening in a different direction to better enable the bees to find their way back to their own homes. The accumulation of CO2 can be extremely dangerous for bumblebees. Do not place hives anywhere near a direct CO2 supply.
Make sure that your temperatures are appropriate for bumblebees to survive and your crops are ready for the bumblebees to work. If you require a delayed shipping date, please call us at 1-800-827-2847 or state your preferred shipping date in the "Special Instruction and Comments" section at checkout.
These hives are designed to be environmentally friendly and give the bumblebees the tools they need to work to their full potential. When bees are surrounded with artificial light, they become easily disoriented and will not find their way back to their hive. To help get the bees home, a few alterations to the hives have been made. These include:Blue Door - Bumblebees see this part of the color spectrum clearly. This improves their return flight orientation.Bee Vision Patterns - The hive boxes are printed with special UV orientation patterns to help bumblebees locate the hive. Insulation - These hives have a complex integrated insulation system, made of a technicomb cardboard pad that fits around and under the brood. This pad moderates temperatures within the hive, so the bees do not have to. Additional sugar solution for use when placing the hive.Modified Screened Ventilation Openings - These openings help to cool the hive in hotter seasons and the screens keep unwanted visitors out.
Warning & Toxicities: Bumblebees are attracted to colorants and odors; this includes blue clothing, after shave and make-up. Bumblebees are not aggressive, but they do sting in self-defense. Such stings usually only lead to localized swelling and itching, but reactions and sensitivity varies among people. Azaron (available in drugstores) can help relieve the pain and itching of stings. Some people can have an oversensitive reaction to stings, which may cause pain and itching in places other than where they were stung (sometimes even over the entire body), red skin, blisters, respiratory problems, sickness, sneezing and irritation of nostrils, throat and eyes. In those cases, consult a doctor immediately or call 911.If you must use pesticides, please exercise extreme caution before and during flowering. Not only are most pesticides harmful to the bees, they may also have long-term effects on local beneficial insect populations.
Wildlife Preservation Canada (WPC) is a national organization using hands-on intervention and scientific approaches to save endangered species. Every spring, field biologists collect wild yellow-banded bumble bee queens for a conservation breeding program, to develop techniques for at-risk species reintroduction and recovery. You can help by submitting observations of Bombus terricola to provide new locations for targeting spring queen collection and surveys!
Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees by authors Beatriz Moisset and Stephen Buchmann is a wonderful and engaging entre into the hidden world of North America's native bees. The full-color 40 page booklet is jam-packed with information about how representative bees of 3,500 species inhabiting the US and bordering areas make a living, which flowers they visit, whether they nest underground or in hollow stems or wood. The diversity of bees is examined along with notes on their wasp ancestry. The lives of leafcutter, mason, bumble bees, miners and others is explored. Look-like bee and wasp-mimicking flies are shown. Tips for easy things gardeners, home owners and naturalists can do to protect and conserve bees and their flowers are given. The booklet is lavishly illustrated by award-winning postage stamp artist Steven Buchanan.
Bumble Bees of the Eastern United States: Now, for the very first time, there's a guide to all 21 species of bumbles bees occurring east of the 100th Meridian in the United States. Detailed color photos of bumble bees on their favorite blossoms are presented, along with detailed dot distribution maps for where they occur. Additional facial photos, crucial for identification, are illustrated. Information on the natural history of each species is discussed including common food plants and life history information. Some of these species are "cuckoo bees" social parasites in the nests of others and these species are also included. A unique dichotomous key to the species (males and females) is an indispensable part of the guide. The 103 page extensive guide was co-authored by Drs. Sheila Colla, Leif Richardson and UK expert Paul Williams. A Foreword is given by Dr. Stephen Buchmann of the Pollinator Partnership. 041b061a72