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How to protect bumblebees from heat

Protect bumble bees
Written by Kevin van Kester | Last update: 18-6-2021

When the sun is very strong, the temperature in the greenhouse increases. This can cause the bumblebees in the crop to overheat. This has a negative effect on pollination and, in the worst-case scenario, bumblebees can die. Therefore, when using bumblebees during a warm period, a few points should be considered to prevent pollination problems. We list these points and give tips. 

Avoid full sun

Make sure that bumblebees are not exposed to the sun when it's hot. Heat causes the bumblebees to tire more quickly. At a temperature between 28 and 32°C, they are less active and therefore pollination takes place less. At a temperature of 32°C or higher, they even stop flying. 

Positioning bumblebee boxes lower

If you place the bumblebee boxes lower in the crop during a warm period, less sunlight can reach the bumblebee boxes. This creates more pleasant conditions for the bumblebees, making it less difficult for them during warm days.


Place bumblebee boxes on the shady side of the path to prevent overheating. If the crop does not provide sufficient shade, create shade yourself. Use a Styrofoam plate, for example, or place the bumblebee boxes in crates. 

Avoid sources of heat

Avoid sources of heat on hot days and check that bumblebee boxes are not too close to heaters or other sources of heat. Also seal off the CO2 hoses that are in a radius of two meters around the bumblebee boxes. 

Using extra bumblebees

At temperatures between 28°C and 32°C, bumblebees become less active, as indicated above. By using extra bumblebees, you will ensure that you still achieve the desired pollination effect by these temperatures.

Compensate for loss

The last point is not related to overheating, but it can cause pollination problems. In spring, the area outside the greenhouse is in bloom. Some of the bumblebee will therefore leave the greenhouse and will no longer return to the bumblebee hive. To compensate for this loss, use more bumblebees from April onwards. 

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Pollination is crucial for a good and healthy crop. Because without pollination most crops do not develop optimally, or not at all. The use of bumblebees is the solution. In this whitepaper you will find all the tips and information you need to ensure that the bumblebees do their work as effectively as possible.


Questions about the use of bumblebees?
Do you have any questions about protecting bumblebees from heat, or would you like to get advice? Then contact one of our crop protection specialists, or ask your question using the form below. We'll respond within 24 hours on working days.

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Kevin KesterAbout Kevin van Kester

Kevin van Kester, specialist in the area of quality management of biological pesticides, has been working with Royal Brinkman since 2013. On the basis of IOBC-guidelines, he structurally monitors the quality of organic products of various producers throughout Europe. "My motivation consists of contributing to higher efficiency of the biological pest control, as such, due to which fewer chemical treatments are required."

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