Russia produces its own bumblebees

Bumblebees are irreplaceable assistance for the greenhouse grower. A couple of years ago they had to be ordered from abroad, and now it has become almost not necessary at all. Moreover, the bumblebees grown in the Moscow region are adapted for work in a more severe environment; they are used to frosts and can work all year round.

The laboratory located in the Moscow region grows bumblebees for pollinating greenhouse fruit and vegetables. Unlike bees, they are less dependent on the natural cycle and can work in the winter period too. In addition, they can warm themselves by creating vibration.

“On average, usage of bumblebees increases productivity up to 30%. Moreover, with some crops it is impossible to harvest without bumblebees at all. For instance, blueberries have a specific flower, not a single other insect can pollinate it”, explains the Deputy Director of the bumblebee producing company, Mr. Semyon Shishkin.

Bumblebee production is rather developed in Europe. The main bumblebee exporting countries are Belgium and Israel. In Russia only two farms grow insects, one of them is located close to Moscow. About 10 thousand nests are being delivered to the greenhouse complexes every year. The farm satisfies almost half the Russian market need.

“In the beginning we followed European technologies, of course, but in the course of work we realized that some things needed to be changed due to the local specifics, climate, etc. Our bumblebees are adapted territory wise, that is why our produce is intended for the Russian greenhouse complexes”, says the Director of the bumblebee producing company, Ms. Elena Shishkina.

Russian bumblebees have been working for 10 years now in the Federal Scientific Vegetable Growth Centre, the country's only supplier of high quality seeds. One bumblebee family is allocated to each greenhouse, which is just enough.

“Now we can see the cabbage plants that are being pollinated by our bumblebee helpers. Pods are appearing on some of the plants already. The insects cope with their job quite well, we get good crops. They work in every weather, even when it is cloudy”, says the Head of the Federal Scientific Vegetable Growth Centre, Ms. Lyudmila Bondareva.

Soon the farm will start producing 20 species of predatory insects (entamophagous). Biological crop protection is accessible not only for major greenhouse complexes, but also for individuals.


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