You’re wondering if you can put beehives in a greenhouse to help you pollinate your vegetables.
This question arises because your vegetable in the greenhouse requires pollination to produce fruits.
So, can you put a beehive in a greenhouse?
The answer is yes! You can put a beehive in a greenhouse. It will help you to house bees that will carry out pollination on your vegetables.
Keeping a beehive in a greenhouse is mostly dependent on the size of the greenhouse. Because bees need space to be able to fly, while carrying out pollination.
Also, many people are concerned if bees can actually carry out pollination inside the greenhouse because of their lifespan.
The lifespan of bees doesn’t affect their effectiveness when it comes to pollination.
This article will teach you everything you need to know about beehives in a greenhouse.
Table of Contents
How to Make Beehive an Effective Pollinator Inside a Greenhouse
Beehives are inside your greenhouse, doesn’t mean your vegetable will produce more fruits.
Even though these sets of bees are effective pollinators in both open and enclosed environments.
The presence of beehives in your greenhouse isn’t a guarantee your vegetable will have perfect pollination.
How you take care of the species will determine how effective it will be to pollinate your vegetable.
However, you can also make them to be effective inside the greenhouse the same way they’re outside.
This can only be possible, when you know what makes it effective outside the greenhouse.
One of the reasons beehives outside the greenhouse are effective pollinators is access to varieties of vegetables.
These varieties of vegetables outside, make them to be healthy and active pollinators. They’re not in an enclosed place, therefore they can fly in search of other vegetables.
Most times, people use greenhouse to grow one species of vegetable. This particular type of vegetable doesn’t provide enough nutrients, required by bees to carry out pollination.
To make beehives in a greenhouse an effective pollinator, you have to plant varieties of vegetable crops inside your greenhouse.
This will make them have access to much nectar unlike having one food all through. The presence of much nectar will make them to be effective and strong to carry out pollination.
Another aspect you need to consider, if you really want to have an effective pollination is the location of the water inside the greenhouse.
Bees are allergic to unclean water — therefore you need to ensure they have clean water always.
Position their water inside the greenhouse in such a way you can easily change it. Often change of the water will make the beehive healthy and strong.
How healthy the beehive inside the greenhouse is, will determine how effective to pollinate your vegetable.
The health of the beehive is important if you need your vegetables to produce more fruits.
Plant varieties of fruits to make beehives inside the greenhouse to be active pollination like the one not in an enclosed environment.
Is Honey Bees Effective in The Greenhouse?
The nature and the function of a hive make it safe to survive and pollinate vegetables inside the greenhouse.
Hive can easily adapt to any environmental change as a result of the greenhouse compared to the honey bees.
Honey bees may not survive in the greenhouse because it can’t survive in a particular temperature. It requires changes in temperature to be active.
Honey bees always cluster when they eat unlike the hive. The reason for the clustering is to keep each other warm.
It clusters around the honey unlike the hive that doesn’t necessarily require honey as their food. But use nectar as their food, why carry out pollination.
The problem of food becomes more serious during the winter. The greenhouse has to be large enough to contain food that will sustain a whole colony during winter.
Most times, a small greenhouse doesn’t have enough food to support a large colony of honey bees.
During winter, honey bees cluster to eat honey and use their thorax muscles to keep each other warm.
Honey bees cluster themselves when the temperature is below 64°F and form colonies when the temperature falls below 23°F. As the temperature keeps dropping, the more compact they become.
They lose their cluster once the temperature rises above 65°F. At this point they’re already warm, so they expand their wings and fly for cleansing.
What is The Lifespan of Bees?
There are factors that determine the lifespan of a bees:
- The amount of Pollen it consume
- The available Protein in whatever it consume
- How active is the been
These are the factors that determine the lifespan of every bee. The lifespan of every bee depends on these factors.
Like the queen, which spent all their life laying eggs inside the hive will leave longer than the worker bees who labor all through the seasons.
Beehives are also known as the worker bees. Their lifespan is basically 4 to 6 weeks because they labor all through the season.
The labor season is the time the beehive forage for food, producing honey, getting enough nectar for the queen bees, and feeding larvae.
Meanwhile, when one generation of bee worker dies doesn’t wipe off the entire colony — there are more other labor bees that might have reproduced after one generation ends.
Colony is another aspect of bees whose lifespan depends on the varieties and the number of bees within it.
Because this set of bees require honey or pollen to survive since it can’t actually produce any of these items by itself.
If only the queen lives, it will not still survive. Because its lifespan is dependent on other bees.
What is Bee Colony?
Bee colony comprises of three castes:
- The Queens
- The Workers
- The Drone
The three castes have their own roles, which they carry out to ensure the survival of each other, especially the hive.
The bee that ensures continuation of generations of bees is called the queens. The queen bee lays eggs that harsh other bees.
The lifespan of a Queens is average of 3 to 5 years. But some domesticated honey bees are prone to die earlier because some of the beekeepers use the hive often as the queens.
A single queen bee has the capacity to lay thousands of eggs all through her lifetime before it dies.
The function of a queen bee is to lay eggs to harsh other bees like the drone. When the queen lays eggs, it’s harsh by itself into drones.
The male honey bee is called Drones. The main function of a Drone is to mate with the queen before it can lay eggs.
The lifespan of a drone depends on when it is able to mate with the queen. Once it successfully mates with the queen, then dies afterwards.
If the drone was unable to mate with the queen, it will still die after the end of summer season.
Other bees will push it out from the colony and thereby die out of cold or starvation so long it’s mature.
Without the drone, the queen will not be able to lay eggs that will harsh into other bees.
The work of the drone is important to beekeepers because it ensures the longevity of bees.
The worker bees
Workers bees are among the casted colony. It is the smallest among the colonies, though it has the highest population of bees.
it’s population ranges from 10,000 to 85,000 per colony.
Worker honey bees lifespan is 4 to 7 weeks before it dies.
Every week the worker bees mature into engaging in specific work. The first week is what it uses to protect the hive while the remaining weeks is what it uses to search for food and pollen nectar.
The last week of its life is mainly the period that’s used to do more of the works such as collection of pollen, and nectar before it will finally die.
Factors That Determine The Lifespan of Bees
The lifespan of a bee is affected by many factors. These factors are what determine how long or short it leaves.
Here are the factors that pose challenges on the life of a bees
- Natural death
- Kill by other bees
- Eaten by other animals
These are major challenges that affect the lifespan of a bee’s life.
However, you can make your bees live longer than it expected to have, if you know how to make it avoid any of these factors listed above.
Natural death of bees is caused by spraying any pesticide or any chemical in the environment that houses bees or in the greenhouse.
The easiest way to kill bees is by spraying chemicals. If you want the bees in your greenhouse to live more than you expected, then avoid the spray chemical.
Instead, you can control pests through natural ways by hand picking the pest. Chemicals kill bees faster than pests.
Diseases or infection is another way that shortens the lifespan of a bee. Bees don’t have the immune to withstand any disease that comes to it.
Water is the easiest means through which bees can easily contact disease or infection. If you want your bees to live longer than you expected, then make their drinking water clean and treat it as often you can.
Apocephalus borealis is a disease that causes wing deformation to bees. This disease is mainly transmitted by a fly.
Get rid of this insect from the greenhouse by hand picking rather than spraying of insecticide.
Prevent bees from contacting disease or infection because any of these can wipe out the entire colonies.
In addition bees’ lives can also be short lived by other sets of bees. Sometimes these bees eat up other bees.
Especially when there is no honey it can feed on. Other animals cut short the lifespan of bees as well. Watch out for those animals that kill bees to keep them off from your greenhouse.
Is Beehive Effective In a Greenhouse?
Are you thinking of types of bees that will be effective inside your greenhouse?
You may have heard that there are other species of bees that are more active pollinators compared to beehives.
Yes, there are.
Every species of bees perform differently in the greenhouse. Understanding of their performance will help you to know the set of bees will better carry out pollination inside your greenhouse.
Most people complained about under-productivities of their vegetables inside the greenhouse.
Under-productivity of vegetables normally occurs when you have more bees that can’t pollinate your vegetable than the active pollinators.
Unknowing to them, not all bees can carry out pollination.
A greenhouse that has little species of bees hive and many species of honey bees will definitely experience low vegetable production.
Vegetable fruits deformation is as a result of excess inactive pollination honey bees in the greenhouse.
However, beehives aren’t the only effective mechanism of pollination inside the greenhouse.
There are other bees, which are also active pollinators inside the greenhouse.
Other active pollinator bees are:
Research has proved these species of bees are more active than the beehive.
They are better agent pollinators, especially inside the greenhouse.
Honey bees are special species that can’t carry out pollination in the greenhouse but active outside enclosed areas.
These species of bees aren’t active pollination. Honey bees have problems with vision, which make them disoriented inside the greenhouse.
The reflection of light affects their vision. It can hardly perform under bad light conditions.
Honey bees are better outside the greenhouse. There vision are more clear in an open environment than the greenhouse.
You can house a beehive inside your greenhouse to carry out effective pollination of your vegetables.
Beehive are active pollinators both inside and outside of the greenhouse. It is among the most effective bees you can use in the greenhouse.
Ensure your greenhouse is properly clean and no dirty that might cause disease to the bees.
Once you’re able to take care of the environment, then the beehive will definitely have a longer lifespan and pollinate your vegetables as well.