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Male bumblebees are perfect for use in pollinating seed crops, small areas and generally anywhere that is not attractive to other bees.
Male bumblebees are especially effective in seed production, achieving excellent results in hard to pollinate crops such as onion, leek, cabbage and fennel.
Male bumblebees are only interested in nectar so they visit male, female and partly sterile flowers. The males do not consume the pollen from the flowers they visit, but do take it on their hairs, making it available for pollination in other visited flowers. As they have a higher individual need for nectar they have more extensive contact with flowers, leading to better pollination. As an added bonus, male bumblebees do not sting!
Another benefit is that males can be introduced individually, as they do not depend on a colony. This is a big advantage when dealing with small amounts of plants.
Purchase individually or in predominately male hives, depending on your requirements.
Individually purchased males are provided in small plastic tubs. They are sent with a small amount of sugar syrup and nothing else. This is sufficient for transit only; this will help encourage the males to visit flowers in search of nectar.
The lifetime of a male colony largely depends on the nectar production of the crop; from 1 week in leek/onion up to 2-3 weeks in cabbage crops.
In cabbage crops: 2-2.5 males/m2
In onion, leek, fennel etc.: 4-5 males/m2
Instructions for use
Colonies should be placed on a sturdy support, about 50 cm above the ground; in spring in a sunny place, and later in the season in the shade.
Secure the hive so that ants cannot enter it.
After placement of the hive, let the bumble bees settle down for a while (½ - 1 hour) before opening the flight hole.
Following their initial orientation flights the bumble bees will immediately start pollinating the crop.
Bumble bees are active at temperatures between 10 and 30 degrees Celsius. They function best at temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.
Males are most active in the early morning and late afternoon
The male bumblebee is sensitive to the strong smell of onion and leek and this will decrease their productivity. To avoid this, please make sure ventilation is optimal.
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