Pollination is "the transfer of pollen from the stamens to the flower pistil." Pollen is transported mainly by air and insects (mainly bees and butterflies) but also by water and some vertebrates.

Pollination can take place both in the same flower and between different flowers, either in the same or in different plants. In most cases, pollination leads to fertilization of the flowers.

All pollinators, both insects and vertebrates, visit flowers to get nectar, pollen or both. During this visit, the pollen will be "landed" accidentally in the stigma of the same or different flower. The same happens with bumblebees. Bumblebees, as well as other pollinating insects, have special structures in their bodies where they store the pollen they have collected. Bumblebees carry pollen that has fallen on their bodies with their hind legs. Pollination is done only with the pollen in their body and not the one they have collected on their feet.

In 1987, it became known that bumblebees were an excellent alternative to pollinating tomato flowers. Since then, Koppert Bv has been producing bumblebees broods: Bombus terrestris for Europe and Asia, B. Impatiens for North and South America. Since then, bumblebees have been used worldwide to pollinate tomato crops as well as other vegetable and tree crops, resulting in huge labor costs, improved fruit quality and increased production.

There are many reasons why you should choose bumblebees:

  1. The use of bumblebees ensures the pollination of the crop even in adverse weather conditions.

  2. Bumblebees are active from 8°C, honeybees only from 15 - 18°C.

  3. Bumblebees are also active on cloudy days. Honeybees limit their activity to cloudy weather.

  4. Bumblebees fly at wind speeds of up to 70 km / h, while honeybees fly at a maximum wind speed of 30 km / h.

  5. The communication between the bumblebees is less intense than that of the honeybees. Therefore, bumblebees are not looking for more attractive sources of nectar to move away from the target crop.

  6. Bumblebees are very effective pollinators. They collect more pollen than nectar in their flight and carry more pollen than honeybees. In addition, bumblebees often change the tree or shrub, which increases cross-fertilization (among other things, it is important in triplicate crops).

  7. Unlike honeybees, bumblebees cause vibrations in flowers, which are required in many species for the release of pollen. This can further increase returns.

  8. Unlike bees, bumblebees work more efficiently in covered or semi-covered crops, as they are able to orient themselves better.

  9. Bumblebees are harmless to cultivation workers.

  10. Bumblebees are ideal for combining with honeybees.

Bumblebees are ideal for:

 Vegetable crops

 Fruit crops

 Seed breeding crops

Check list of tomato flower pollination
Check list of pollination of in tree crops