Home Pollination
Bumblebees do things differently: unlike honeybees, they do not have a permanent colony. In autumn, a bumblebee colony dies out and only the young, mated queens hibernate each separately in the soil. In spring, a queen starts a new colony. She lays a first batch of eggs, from which larvae emerge after 4 to 5 days.

In the beginning, the queen has to do all the foraging by herself. The larvae are fed with a mixture of nectar and pollen gathered from flowers. When the first adult workers have appeared, the queen no longer leaves the nest. The workers begin to forage and to take care of the brood.

After the production of 150 to 400 workers, young queens and drones (males) are born. From this time on, the activity of the colony decreases; the old queen stops laying eggs and eventually dies. With a young, mated queen, a new cycle can start.


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                                                                                      BUMBLEBEE HIVES FROM BIOBEST

The hive  
Applying the latest technologies, Biobest has developed a completely maintenance-free, easy-to-monitor, safe and simple hive for its bumblebees. The BIOGLUCŪ bottle is located at the bottom of the hive, underneath the plastic nest box containing the brood (eggs, larvae and pupae).

Thanks to its ingenious feeding system, the bumblebees can feed on the BIOGLUCŪ when they are in the brood compartment. The feeding system contains a wick which transports the BIOGLUCŪ out of the bottle to the brood compartment thanks to its capillary functioning.

The cover and the nest box have several ventilation openings which provide good ventilation and prevent condensation. The housing is made of solid, recyclable cardboard with a moisture-resistant coating. Each hive is equiped with a 2 kg bottle of BIOGLUCŪ, sufficient for the entire life of the colony.

The construction of the feeding system makes leaking impossible. It gives no access to wasps, wild bees and ants and allows easy checking of the BIOGLUCŪ-level.

The hive has two flight openings. The standard flight opening is used under normal conditions. A tapered tube is attached to hole no. 2, which creates a time-controlled lock-in system. When this valve is open, the bumblebees can enter but are unable to get out.

Thanks to the easy switching of the flight openings, the bumblebees can be "locked in" at any time during the day.

  1. Standard flight opening (in and out)
  2. IN only flight opening (not normally used)
  3. Transparent inner cover
  4. Upper cover, which can be opened
  5. Feeding hole through the wick
  6. Feeding level, visible from the outside
  7. New sugar water formula feed supply
  8. The hive compartment with brood

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Bumblebee feeding  
Bumblebees require pollen as a protein source for the build-up of the colony. They also need nectar as a carbohydrate (sugar) source. Since the flowers of certain plants (e.g. tomatoes) do not produce any nectar, the colony needs to be provided with a sugar solution.

BIOGLUCŪ, a ready-to-use food solution developed by Biobest, consists of a sugar solution, a preservative and a colouring agent which aids the monitoring of the food level.

BIOGLUCŪ keeps well for at least 6 months in a cool, dark place.


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  1. Pollination
    Pollination for production  
    Proper pollination is essential for optimal fruit set and production. In the past, growers relied on honeybees, manual pollination or plantgrowth regulators, depending on the crop being grown.

    All these methods have drawbacks:

    In general, honeybees don't work well in greenhouses or tunnels. They are generally less effective or inadequate during periods of low temperatures (under 15°C/59°F) and cloudy weather.


    Manual pollination is time consuming and difficult to manage.


    Hormones often result in low quality fruits, which are not saleable (soft, malformed and seedless fruit).

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    Back to top

    Tomatoes Sweet peppers
    Bumblebees can totally replace the use of manual vibrators and hormone application, provided the plants produce viable pollen. Bumblebees grasp the tomato flower and vibrate their thorax to shake the pollen loose. This leaves a small brown mark on the anther cone, making it possible to monitor their work. A colony can pollinate 1000 to 3000 square metres of crop for 6 to 8 weeks. The number of colonies required depends upon the type of glasshouse or tunnel, the season, the variety, the number of plants per square metre and the competition from wild flowers.
    Sweet peppers pollinated by bumblebees will contain more seeds, resulting in a better shape and a thicker pericap. One colony is sufficient for the pollination of 3,000 to 5,000 square metres during 6 to 8 weeks.
    Strawberry Orchard
    The big bumblebees are able to transport large quantities of pollen. The bumblebees land on the flower base (receptacle) of the strawberry flower and pollinate all the pistils in doing so. The flower base will develop into a beautiful, smooth fruit. Thanks to the activity of the bumblebees, less deformed fruits are produced. Bumblebees also work at low temperatures and under cloudy skies.
    Bumblebees are less dependent on weather conditions during bloom. They fly also at low temperatures, cloudy and windy weather. Bumblebees are also insensitive to the varroa mite. For open-field crops, the Multi-Hive is extremely suitable. This bumblebee hive is weather-resistant.
    Soft fruit Seed production
    (cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, black and red currant, etc.) Bumblebees assure an excellent fruitset, especially during periods when honeybees are not active: in winter and in spring, and during cold and cloudy weather. Fruit quality is improved and commercial yields increase substantially by using bumblebees for pollination.
    Convinced of the many advantages, seed producing companies use the Biobest bumblebees in order to achieve high seed production (alfalfa, red clover, sunflowers, etc.).
    Zucchini and melons Blueberry
    Bumblebees are very effective for pollination of zucchini and melons. After removing the BIOGLUCŪ, the bumblebees will visit male flowers (for pollen) as well as female flowers (for nectar).
    For this crop, it is important that pollinating insects vibrate the flower, which can be done by bumblebees but not honeybees.
    Other crops  
    Because of their physiology, bumblebees are impeccable pollinators and can be introduced in lots of cultures.

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    Bumblebee stings  


Orders must be placed by 5:00 PM Thursday for delivery the following week.

Hives are sold on a first come basis.  Due to high demand we may not have enough if you are ordering at the last minute.  If you reserve a hive 3 months in advance, we can guarantee delivery.  Call to reserve your order.

Key Benefits



or CALL 303-661-9546 or 877-505-9703


WE CAN ONLY SHIP IF YOU SELECT NEXT DAY AIR. If you select a different mode the order will be cancelled.  Shopping cart rates are from MN, but these items are shipped by our supplier from Detroit, so rates may be different.  Credit cards are not charged until actual freight charges determined.  You will be notified of any change.

ITEM DESCRIPTION                    GREENHOUSE  COVERAGE        ESTIMATED LIFE                               PRICE 

Class A (Large) hive  8-15,000 SQ. FT.       APPROX. 10-12 WKS        $185.00   

Class B (Small) hive  4-8,000 SQ. FT.          APPROX. 6-8 WKS             $115.00  

Class C (Mini) hive     3-4,000 SQ. FT.          APPROX. 4-5 WKS             $  75.00  

Outdoor Four-pack                                            APPROX 8  WKS               $250.00  

(4 colonies, good for 2-4 A of blueberries)        

Outdoor Single hive                                           APPROX 6 WEEKS            $75.00  



FREIGHT CHARGES MUST BE ENTERED AS NEXT DAY AIR                                        


Shipped to your door via UPS Next Day Air, or for large shipments air freight to nearest major airport..

TO ORDER CALL ITS   INC.       303-661-9546 or 877-505-9703



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