bumblebee pollination
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Bumblebee Manageability

Written By: John Wolf
Pollination Specialist
Koppert Biological
Systems, Inc.


Has this happened to you? You need to apply an unexpected insecticide application with short notice and it is a chemical that will kill or greatly harm the honeybees your beekeeper has placed in your field or orchard. You need to have the bees moved or you are going to kill them and your beekeeper is unable to move them when you need it done. Or maybe your raising multiple crops or multiple varieties of the same crop and you would like to move the honeybees to the next field that is in full bloom, but you have to do it within your beekeepers schedule, not your own. These are just a couple of scenarios that happen across the country to growers everyday that cause downtime, frustration, and ultimately end up costing money. This is another of the many reasons that should lead you to consider the use of Koppert bumblebee QUADS for your required pollination.

At around thirty pounds and
with Koppert’s exclusive “Bee-Home” system, that is designed to effortlessly trap your bees inside the QUAD, Koppert bumblebees are the perfect solution for putting the manageability of pollination in your hands. Now when that unexpected chemical application becomes necessary or a bloom comes on quicker than expected, you need not wait to get the job done. You can do it yourself, and it is simple and quick.

Ask any grower who is currently using Koppert bumblebee QUADS what it’s like to manage their own bees and you will get pretty much the same answer. There’s nothing to it. All you need do is slide the beehome door on each of the four hives in the QUAD to the “in only” position and within a few hours all of the bumblebees from each QUAD will be trapped inside their hives ready for you to apply the needed chemical or move it to the next location. A QUAD which packs the pollination power of a whole four hive pallet of honeybees weighs in at only about 30 pounds. This means you need no special equipment to move the hives from field to field, and you can easily fit 30 QUADS in

the back of a pickup bed. That's the equivalent of 120 honeybee hives in the box of your truck.

As with all things new, you might feel some uncertainty about handling your own bees, especially if you have never had beekeeping experience. It’s really nothing to worry about. Contrary to many myths bumblebees are very docile creatures. They can sting, but it usually happens only after provocation. You’ll find it an easy process to handle them yourself after the first time you do it. If you have any questions or concerns a knowledgeable Koppert customer care representative is a toll free phone call away and in some areas Koppert can even offer on-site service.

We encourage you to take the management of pollination into your own hands by using Koppert bumblebee QUADS and along with the ease of use you will get the advantage of the superior pollination that Koppert Bumblebees provide.

Koppert Hires New Crop Consultant to Support Southeast U.S.
As the international market leader in natural pollination and biological crop protection, Koppert’s mission includes provides not only high quality products, but also superior technical support. In July 2008 Koppert employed Gabe Diaz- Saavedra to work as a consultant in Southeast U.S. Gabe was able to spare a few moments from customers to answer some questions about his new position.

Q: As a technical consultant with Koppert Biological Systems, Inc. what type of grower will you be working with and what type of service will you be providing?
Gabe: My focus is on two separate markets, pollination and bio-control. In the pollination market I am focusing on:
  1. Cucurbit growers: watermelons, squash and cucumbers – since our bees are naturally suited to pollinate these crops.
  2. Blueberry growers: high bush and rabbiteye
  3. Growers where bumblebees might be a real benefit for example there are niche markets in citrus ( Ambersweet tangerines) and tropical fruit ( Mamey’s ) where bumble bees are a big benefit


In the bio-control market there are two focused market subsegments:
  1. Vegetable growers who are interested in biocontrol, our primary target crops have been eggplant and peppers.
  2. Ornamental growers who are interested in biocontrol, the insects that we have been controlling successfully with biocontrol programs include mites, thrips, aphids and fungus gnats.


Q: Is there a certain region or territory you are covering?
Gabe: I am working primarily in GA and FL with target trips to other geographies in the
Southeast to develop specific market opportunities.

Q: How long have you been working in the agricultural/horticultural industries?
Gabe: I started picking strawberries at age 13 on a local farm for $0.10/quart. $5 was a decent mornings wages. Agriculture grew on me since then.

Q: What positions did you hold prior to accepting the position as consultant with Koppert Biological Systems, Inc?
Gabe: Since 1981 I have worked with several companies, I started my career with Syngenta, selling fungicides and herbicides in the Northeast and in New England. I supported the vegetable, landscape, and lawn care markets selling various biotechnology products like BT and MPede. After taking a few years off to earn my MBA in Agribusiness from the University of Florida, I returned to the industry supporting growers using such products as methyl-bromide, beneficial nematodes, and organic fertilizers.

Q: How do you feel that your prior experience in these industries will benefit your relationships with growers as their new Koppert consultant?
Gabe: These experiences have helped me develop an understanding of the markets and the challenges that growers face in producing high quality fruits and vegetables. I understand the place where Koppert products fit and if there is a good fit I can assist them in accomplishing their goals.

Q: How is the present state of the economy affecting the growers in your region?
Gabe: As with most economic downturns that this country has suffered since I got started in 1981, agriculture is doing well. Folks have to eat generally 3 times a day good economy or bad. Prices for most vegetables have been decent this fall, the few exceptions to this have occurred when growers planted more than the market demanded.

Q: Outside of the economy, what challenges are you faced with in your new position?
Gabe: The challenges that any company faces when they are introducing themselves in the market, a fear of the unknown and a lack of trust , until the
regions given the numbers of honeybees that are wintered in the south and used to pollinate crops when the rest of the country has very little bloom.

Q: What is the overall perception of bumblebee pollination with the growers you are servicing?
Gabe: Those that have used bumblebees are very pleased with what they have seen, they are challenging to see actually working in the field, but the results speak volumes as to their effectiveness. There are many growers who are trying bumblebees for the first time in a variety of crops like watermelons and blueberries. In fact supplies of bumblebees are tight in much of the first 4 months of 2009, if growers are interested in trying bumblebees, please get a hold of me as soon as possible.

Q: If a grower would like to speak with you, how can they get in touch with you?
Gabe: I can be reached on my cellular phone at (941) 350-7291 and by email gdiaz@koppert.com. Messages can also be left for me at the Koppert offices in Michigan by calling toll-free (800) 928- 8827.

Have a friend that needs bees?

Contact Koppert at 800-928-8827 to find out details about our customer referral Discount!
The tongue length is varied in different species of bumblebees. In some species the tongue is so long that it trails behind the bee when in flight.
During flight, bumblebees build a fair amount of electrostatic charge on their body. This helps the pollen to cling to bee when it lands on a flower.
Like a queen bumblebee, worker bees can lay eggs. Since they have not mated the eggs will always be haploid and therefore male.
The largest known bumblebee queen comes from South America and is over 30 mm long.
Male bumblebees don’t have stingers! Females have stingers that are not barbed so they do not die once they sting.
Bumblebees can perceive ultraviolet wavelengths that our eyes cannot see.
Bumblebees have been reported foraging at night during a full moon.
Honeybees are not native to North America, bumblebees are! 9.
It takes approximately 1 month for a bumblebee egg to grow into an emerging adult bee.
A bumblebee has to beat her wings about 200 times per second to remain aloft.

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Koppert Newsletter 2008 Issue #2 Koppert Newsletter 2008 Issue #1