BeeSafe explains bees and pollination. Why are bees important for farmers? Is it enough to rely on managed pollinators like honey bees? What can I do to help bees and other pollinators? These and other questions are part of my seminars and courses – at your facility or online, and of course, always fitting into the practice.
Many crops depend on pollination to a varying extent. Some crops, like apples, cherries or plums definitely need bees and other pollinators for fruit production. For others, like citrus or oilseed rape, pollination is an advantage, but not a prerequisite for seed and fruit production. Sufficient and high-quality pollination increases crop yields, but, most importantly, also crop quality. Bees do all this for free if they find a home in your fields or orchards.
Pollination for better crop yields and quality
Bees are highly specialized for the pollination job. Most people know honey bees (Apis mellifera), but there are almost 2,000 bee species in Europe. Not all of them are important for crops: only 41 species are proven crop pollinators. However, this shows that it’s not enough to rely on a single pollinator (honey bees) only. Honey bees are active with warmer temperatures. In early crops like cherries or apples, they often don’t fly as actively as they should. Bumblebees and solitary bees, together with other pollinators like hoverflies, do the job in this case. Best pollination results when a stable pollinator species community complements each other.
In the courses, we discuss which pollinators are important for different crops and what you can do to encourage them on your farm.
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If you have any questions or would like some more detailed information about my services, do not hesitate to contact me. I will answer you as soon as possible