Quantcast

Hello from new member

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Kentish Man 

New Bee
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
Hi everyone

I'm completely new to the world of bees and know bugger all at the moment, so with a quick google and a cursory glance later, this looks like the place to "bee". Sorry, I bet you get daft jokes like that all the time on here!

Anyway, I'd like to get a hive at some stage so will begin to do my research now.

One thing I've just thought about and wonder if anyone has this setup -Take one very large polytunnel (complete with lots of nice pollen-laden flowers inside) + a beehive with 2 entrances. Stradle the hive across the wall at one end of the polytunnel and have one entrance to the hive on the inside of the polytunnel and one on the outside. That way the bees can pollinate your polytunnel and buzz around outside it too. Does that sound workable as an idea or just plain silly?!

Anyway, hello to you all.
 

Hombre 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
1
Location
West Midlands
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
Ten
Hi Kentish Man and welcome to the forum.

I suspect that you will perhaps find that getting trapped bees out of a poly tunnel is easier said than done as they fly up to the light, where, in a poly tunnel, there is usually no way out.

Tomatoes are best pollinated by bumble bees, but if you can allow your captive pollinator bees to fly free you might be lucky. Bees rarely do quite what you want them to do and a 30,000 foraging force is likely to be wanting to look further afield than your poly hive.

If located a few feet beyond and facing one end then with the door closed they would fly up, but if the door was open they would likely fly into your tunnel and do the pollination, but could be confused until the sun was going down and they decided to return to the hive directly.

I'm sure that someone with more knowledge of the subject will put you right shortly.

You will quickly learn to filter all the information proffered into a variety of piles, some more useful than others. :grouphug:
 

thedeaddiplomat 

House Bee
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
499
Reaction score
0
Location
cornwall
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
sadly, no more!
I was a newbeek at the beginning of this year (and therefore still am!). I would suggest that there are other things you might wish to focus on first. You might consider finding a local beekeeping group near you, and joining it - an invaluable source of good advice and support. And you will probably need to read as much as you can now, so that you can hit the ground running in the spring. And, of course, this forum is full of good advice from the real experts.

As for the polytunnel idea, the experts will tell you more than I could about this - but my own feeling is that unless there is a particular reason for trying it that way, freerange bees are likely to be happier bees.
 

Widdershins 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
604
Reaction score
0
Hive Type
langstroth
Hello Kentish Man, and welcome to the forum
 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,750
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
Welcome KM.

Not sure which of Hombre's piles you are going to put this on!

The principle is sound at a top level and has / is used commercially, particularly in South Africa with local pollinating species (not necessarily bees), but plantations (even where poly-tunnel / wet wall structures are used) tend to have polinator 'stations' rather than dedicated to particular structures but with free flight access. Where pest species can gain access as well the polinators are captive but we are talking multiple hectare structures here and the demise of the polinator as a result of starvation once the job is done is of no concern. Some points:
The chances of success are very dependent on crop / pollinator compatibility, as mentioned above HBs are not necessarily going to forage your desired crops.
The tunnel with a blocked end could cause entrapment problems.
Your / your staffs access to the tunnel will be more comfortable if it is simply a forage site rather than regarded by the girls as nest territory that needs to be defended.
Twin entrances mean two routes of attack from wasps / hornets etc, so not giving the girls the best chance of survival.
If you can find the crops in your tunnels you can be ceratin the girls will.
Leave the tunnel ends open, give the girls a good spot, they will forage where they see fit rather than follow any Beeks instructions anyway!

Good luck with it, so what hive type you going for? and as others will say, go for a minimum of two hives, if you get into a pickle you have more options to recover as a result. Regards, Rosti
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
I think the bees would get trapped in the polytunnel, trying to reach the sky. A colony of honey bees needs much more area than a polytunnel, which is why they fly several miles looking for forage.
 

ian 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
348
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
Hi

There are a number of people who supply bees for poly tunnel pollination. The growers do prefer bumbles though and it's mainly for some of the soft fruits.

There is a very high mortality rate and a lot of confused bees banging heads against plastic, bumbles cope better although bees do do the job!


Regards Ian
 

Kentish Man 

New Bee
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
Thanks people! I was only thinking out loud really, but I suppose its a useful question to have answered as a newbie as now I have some ideas as to what bee keeping is all about.
 

roche 

Field Bee
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
869
Reaction score
3
Location
Newburyish
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I think that some of the best ideas can come from people fresh into organisations or hobbies; they haven't been indoctrinated into the standard received wisdom. Although some of the ideas may not work for real practical reasons, one or two may be real gems. So KM, keep thinking out loud (but keep reading too)

Cheers,

Roche
 

hedgerow pete 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
3,660
Reaction score
5
Location
UK, Birmingham, Sandwell. Pork scratching Bandit c
Hive Type
national
first things first, tell us where you are it helps with the answers.
Hello kentish man and welcome to the forum, yes we will help as much as possible,

To polinate a poly tunnel heres a few more question that we need, are the tunnels populated at all times when flowering, ie strawbs, fruit. cutflowers??,

if you have people inside most of the time go and get bumble bees, yes they still sting but an awfull lot less than honey bees evan calm ones dont like being stuck in a poly with people , also most people think bumbles dont sting so they are calmer when they see a bee rather than trying to make a situation worse by flapping there arms around.

are your tunnels end open and do you ground fix the sides or are they rail mounted say a metre up off the ground, if you have high sides i would stick a honey bee hive between two poly rows so one hive for two ploys would work if they are less than 300metres long if they are more than that try a row of hives at each end of the poly tunnel rows, if we are talking a much smaller set up we can just have a hive nearby the ladies will find the flowers if its economical important to fertilize these flowers we could move the hive inside for the day with the sides and doors shut that would give you a very good pollination, also what type are the flowers because honey bees dont do some flowers and they do do others,

does that help or completely confuse??


simply put where are you,
what are the flowers,
how big is the poly tunnel or are there multiple tunnels,
are there other people involved

hedgerow pete
 

buzz lightyear 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Messages
194
Reaction score
0
Location
North Notts uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
18
Welcome Kentish Man,
My mate, a fruit farmer has asked me to put a colony in a large poly tunnel with strawberry's just coming into flower. Thought I would give it a try, after all he gives me use of a barn etc for storage. If its not working (bees confused etc) then we can always move them back. One nuc's worth I thought would be worth a try. Nothing ventured and all that....
Buzz
 
Last edited:

ian 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
348
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
none
Hi Buzz

Fruit Farmers pay highly for bees in tunnels...........but as you say hes' a friend and you owe him.

Be aware that tunnels confuse bees and the attrition rate is very high, it normally takes some time for them to recover and keep the length of time in the tunnel down.


Regards Ian
 

buzz lightyear 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Messages
194
Reaction score
0
Location
North Notts uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
18
He seems to think it would help reduce what he called funny shaped fruit, so make of that what you will. I'm not a farmer. Popped up to to have a look at them and they didn't seem to be going great guns on the Strawberrys. They were doing plenty of what you might call orientation type flights, let see what happens, Buzz
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I have read that 10% of uk strawberries are pollinated by bees.
 

Latest posts

Top