Bumblebee Hives ship Monday-Wednesday. Orders placed Monday will ship Wednesday. Online orders can take 24-48 hours to process. Please call us at 1-800-827-2847 for earliest possible shipment dates and ordering.
Boost pollination rates and improve yields in greenhouses and indoor growing with these hard-working bumble bees. By introducing these bees to your crops, you are not only helping the environment, you are helping your bottom line. These beneficial insects will improve fruit quality, increase productivity, save labor costs and provide pollination that is independent of weather conditions.
Advantages of Natupol Excel Bumblebee Hives:
- Ideal for greenhouses and indoor agriculture.
- Better resilience to lower temperatures, low light intensities and strong winds. Prefer 50-86°F.
- Rapid workers - they are able to visit twice as many flowers per minute as honeybees.
- Larger than many other bees allowing them to carry more pollen and make better contact with stamens and pistils.
- Remain within released areas better than honeybees because they do not communicate in the same way. Should an individual bumblebee find an attractive food source elsewhere, it cannot inform its companions.
- Bumblebees move from plant to plant and tree to tree more often than honeybees. This aids cross-pollination and is especially helpful in fruit crops when pollination depends on special "pollinator trees".
These hives contain Bombus impatiens
, the common eastern bumblebee, and contain a single colony
with a queen, workers and brood (pupae, eggs and larvae). Bombus impatiens
has been carefully chosen because it is a native species and widely distributed in North America. These hives are not recommended for pollination of large outdoor areas.
Natupol Excel: Comparable to the discontinued Natupol Class-A hives. One hive will cover 1,000-15,000 square feet.
- Offers high pollination efficiency over a period of time, often through the course of a grow cycle.
- This hive takes longer to reach its maximum efficiency level, but retains its optimum performance for 9 weeks or more.
- An ideal choice for greenhouses or hydroponic operations that operate consistently; especially so if they are at the beginning of the planting cycle before full bloom.
- Natupol Excel lasts for about 9 weeks, but can go longer.
Natupol Excel Startup: Comparable to the discontinued Natupol Class-B hives. One hive will cover 1,000-15,000 square feet.
- A larger colony to serve crops that need heavy pollination in a short period of time.
- Due to its large number of workers, this hive provides high pollination rates from day one and reaches maximum efficiency rapidly. However, this burst of effort will not be sustained and the hive will decline more rapidly than the Natupol Excel model.
- Excellent choice for greenhouses that are near to or in full bloom and need thorough pollination immediately.
- Natupol Excel Startup hives last for about 7-8 weeks, sometimes longer.
How To Set Up Your Natupol Hives: Natupol Excel hives perform at their best when the ambient temperature is between 50-86°F. Introduce Excel Hives 4-7 days prior to flowering and Excel Startup Hives at the time of flowering. Place hives in the coolest part of the day. The bumblebees will start pollinating once flowers open.
- Place hives immediately after delivery, or a maximum of 1 day later, to allow the bumblebees to gather food. Wait 30 minutes after positioning the hive to open the doors. The shaking and general movement involved in transporting them can make the bees restless. This will give the bumblebees time to calm down.
- Place hives out of direct sunlight to help moderate temperatures within the hives.
- Make sure that the underside of the hives stay dry. Place them in locations where moisture collection is not an issue.
- Protect hives from strong winds by keeping them in sheltered spots or by weighting them down with a suitable object.
- Ensure the hive is stable and horizontal. This allows for easy access to the hive and helps to avoid spilling any of the sugar solution.
- Position the hives evenly throughout the plot to maximize results.
- Keep the hive entrance visible to bumblebees and humans during the flowering period. This can be accomplished by placing the hive on a stand, a crate or even a pile of stones.
Additional Placement Considerations:
Correct placement of your hives is crucial to optimum performance. Before you receive your hive, consider where you will be putting it. The following are some points to consider in your planning:
- Bumblebees and honeybees are compatible and can work together on the same crops. However, a bumblebee hive should be placed at least 100 meters away from a honeybee hive and out of sight of the honeybees. This will reduce chances of the honeybees becoming aware of and raiding the bumblebee hive for its sugar water.
- Ants are a threat to hives. They can and will invade a hive. Create a barrier around hives with hive grease or insect glue (used cautiously). Ants will also use plants to gain access to the hive, so avoid placing your hive where it can brush against plants.
- Remove any flowering weeds around the hive and pollination areas. This will focus the bees' efforts on your crop, not your weeds.
- Individual hives perform better than stacked hives. If you decide to stack your hives, be sure that they remain horizontal and have adequate stabilization. It is also recommended that you position each exit opening in a different direction to better enable the bees to find their way back to their own homes.
- The accumulation of CO2 can be extremely dangerous for bumblebees. Do not place hives anywhere near a direct CO2 supply.
Environment: For use in greenhouses, hoop houses, glasshouses, hydroponics, aquaponics and outdoors in gardens and small orchards.
Storage: Do not store. Release as soon as possible after hive delivery.
Hives are shipped as soon as possible following order processing. Same day shipments are not available. Make sure that your temperatures are appropriate for bumblebees to survive and your crops are ready for the bumblebees to work. If you require a delayed shipping date, please call us at 1-800-827-2847 or state your preferred shipping date in the "Special Instruction and Comments" section at checkout.
When Will My Order Ship?
Shipments sent to California require that a permit application be filled out and sent to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Click Here to fill out the permit application and send the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information regarding the California Permits and Regulations Program can be found Here.
- Orders ship Monday-Wednesday and can take up to 48 hours to process.
- Natupol bumblebee hives ship via UPS Next Day shipping.
- Saturday deliveries not available.
Cannot Be Shipped To: HI,OR,PR,VI
Shipping Restrictions: Ships Monday-Wednesday via UPS Next Day. This does not take processing time into account.
What's In The Package: Each unit contains a single colony of Bombus impatiens with a queen, workers and brood (pupae, eggs and larvae). A bag with a sugar solution is also included. Hives are shipped with queen excluders to the following states: AK, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WA, WY.
Both versions of the Natupol Excel hives (Natupol Excel and Natupol Excel Startup) cover the same square footage of 1,000 – 15,000 sq. ft. Both have been developed for use under artificial light and in warmer conditions as well as to serve crops with large numbers of flowers per sq. ft. (like strawberries and cherry/snack tomatoes).
These hives are designed to be environmentally friendly and give the bumblebees the tools they need to work to their full potential. When bees are surrounded with artificial light, they become easily disoriented and will not find their way back to their hive. To help get the bees home, a few alterations to the hives have been made. These include:
- Blue Door - Bumblebees see this part of the color spectrum clearly. This improves their return flight orientation.
- Bee Vision Patterns - The hive boxes are printed with special UV orientation patterns to help bumblebees locate the hive.
- Insulation - These hives have a complex integrated insulation system, made of a technicomb cardboard pad that fits around and under the brood. This pad moderates temperatures within the hive, so the bees do not have to.
- Additional sugar solution for use when placing the hive.
- Modified Screened Ventilation Openings - These openings help to cool the hive in hotter seasons and the screens keep unwanted visitors out.
Warning & Toxicities: Bumblebees are attracted to colorants and odors; this includes blue clothing, after shave and make-up. Bumblebees are not aggressive, but they do sting in self-defense. Such stings usually only lead to localized swelling and itching, but reactions and sensitivity varies among people. Azaron (available in drugstores) can help relieve the pain and itching of stings. Some people can have an oversensitive reaction to stings, which may cause pain and itching in places other than where they were stung (sometimes even over the entire body), red skin, blisters, respiratory problems, sickness, sneezing and irritation of nostrils, throat and eyes. In those cases, consult a doctor immediately or call 911.
If you must use pesticides, please exercise extreme caution before and during flowering. Not only are most pesticides harmful to the bees, they may also have long-term effects on local beneficial insect populations.
Shelf Life: Hives will remain active for 6-8 weeks after placement.