New research backed by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) could help bumblebee hives to live longer and be more efficient.
The new project is researching ways to protect the long-term sustainability of New Zealand horticulture, including how to enhance the performance of bumblebee hives using pheromones.
MPI is contributing $160,000 towards the $400,000 project through its Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) fund.
Dr Gunjan Gera, of Gourmet Waiuku Limited, is leading the project, supported by consultant Dr Jo Stephens.
Dr Gera says bumblebees are often used for pollination in berryfruit crops, glasshouses, and other covered crop areas because the bees tend to travel only about 200 metres from their hives and don’t mind enclosed spaces, whereas honeybees prefer to fly to flowers further afield. Continue reading