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Bees in the Greenhouse

 
Damian Jones
Posts: 57
Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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I'm looking to start a fairly large aquaponic greenhouse. It gets pretty cold up in in Wisconsin and I want to do the greenhouse year round. I am hoping I can relocate mason bees in the greenhouse to help with pollination throughout the year. The greenhouse will be warmed all winter long. I was wondering has anyone attempted this or is the a common practice or am I really as crazy as everyone thinks.

Thanks,
Damian
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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I would not call you crazy because Paul has rules about that sort of thing |-) am curious how you will get the bees to stay where you want them to be ? If they do stay what are you going to feed them on ? They will need lots of food if its too warm to hibernate

David
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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Mason Bees will not work for this application. They only have about a 6 week life span and only produce one generation each year. I am not certain that ANY bee species, including the greenhouse workhorse bumblebee, will work. They all need a period of inactivity and rest.
 
Damian Jones
Posts: 57
Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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David Livingston wrote:I would not call you crazy because Paul has rules about that sort of thing |-) am curious how you will get the bees to stay where you want them to be ? If they do stay what are you going to feed them on ? They will need lots of food if its too warm to hibernate

David


Thanks for not calling me crazy...I like to reserve that right for myself. Good point about how to feed them...I understand with honey bees they put some sugar water out so I would try that. I don't know how many flowers an average bee needs for survival....or anything about bees for that matter.
 
Damian Jones
Posts: 57
Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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Steven Feil wrote:Mason Bees will not work for this application. They only have about a 6 week life span and only produce one generation each year. I am not certain that ANY bee species, including the greenhouse workhorse bumblebee, will work. They all need a period of inactivity and rest.


Good info Steven,

Soo I could theoretically stagger the placement of the mason bee dormitories every six weeks. during the winter? I saw a documentary somewhere....a woman kept the bees in the freezer, cleaned out the larvae, re-homed them and put them back out in the spring to do their thing.

 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Depending on what you want them for you might simply be better off hand pollinating instead. 5 minutes with a brush can polinate a lot of flowers and you don't need to force bees to live outside their normal habit/climate conditions. realistically you probably only have a few days of polination needs out of season anyway, depending on your crops/greenhouse size/planting plans
 
Damian Jones
Posts: 57
Location: Westboro, WI Zone 3.5
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Michael Cox wrote:Depending on what you want them for you might simply be better off hand pollinating instead. 5 minutes with a brush can polinate a lot of flowers and you don't need to force bees to live outside their normal habit/climate conditions. realistically you probably only have a few days of polination needs out of season anyway, depending on your crops/greenhouse size/planting plans


I guess my main thing is to have some of their life force around me during the winter. Winters are so long here and the silence is deafening sometimes. Anyway these are just thoughts that I wanted to hear peoples' thoughts on. I think I'll give it a go and see how things turn out. Thanks for your input.
 
Steven Feil
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Location: South Central Idaho
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It takes a LOT of work, planning and record keeping to force bees to operate outside of their natural cycle. Some are working on moving the cycle back a couple of months for the almond harvest but the process is anything but natural. It takes very controlled, artificial cooling to get and keep them in this unnatural cycle. I would not suggest going this route until you have a few seasons of working with them in their natural cycle first.
 
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