green house bees

utsharpie(33014)January 2, 2006

i have a small 12'X 11' greenhouse and i want to use bees to pollinate my plants. How many? where can i get them? what kind? what about hives? are there hives where you can control when the bees can leave the hive, so i can stay sting free when i do my work inside?


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You DO NOT want to try to maintain a colony of honeybees inside a greenhouse, especially one that small. Your best bet is to leave the greenhouse open on warm days and let the numerous bees, wasps, flies and other natural pollinators do their thing.

Alternatively, you might try raising a few Orchard Mason Bees. These bees are very gentle and do not have hives; they nest in holes in wood. Google 'Orchard Mason Bees' and you will find numerous links, including several places that sell blocks of wood with one or two dozen bee larvae already inside just waiting to hatch. The link below is just one example.

Here is a link that might be useful: Raintree Nursery - Orchard Mason Bees

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 4:31PM
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thanks, but the greenhouse is always in a closed environment. Im doing research on aquaponics so i have to have a stable inside environment.

arent there "hives" to where you can control when the bees can leave? so i can "flip a switch" and the bees can enter but than cant leave until i "flip" it back open?

yes i plan on using mason bees, i only need pollination and dont want to mess with honey bees. anyone have an idea on how many i need for the area and how often ill have to restock the hive?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 8:55PM
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I am also very interested in using bees to pollinate plants in my greenhouse. I have tried doing it artificially with a q-tip swab, with limited success . . . besides that, it's pretty tedious! But I did hear that Canadian blueberry growers are having success with bumble bees as pollinators in their industrial greenhouses . . also, bumble bees are used for greenhouse pollination in the Netherlands. Does anyone know about pollination technology using bees or otherwise for the backyard greenhouse person like me? Tim

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:06PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

One of the problems I have heard about (I am unsure about the validity, but it seems highly plausible at least) is that the green house has UV blocking properties, and since bees use UV light to navigate because it doesn't reflect as readily they get lost inside of the green houses and die.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 11:26AM
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I've heard that bumblebees work well in a greenhouse. Although if they have no way to access the outdoors I'm not sure you'd have enough pollen/honey available for a hive to survive.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 5:14PM
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Hi, do bees reproduce in direct relation to the availability of food. In other words, more food source, more babies- less food source, less babies?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:38PM
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bees will starve and you'll lose the hive withing two weeks in a greenhouse that small. you'll literally have a pile of dead bees on the bottom board. Leave the bees outside the greenhouse, and just let them in on better days.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 10:17PM
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