When to use Quad?
Quad pollination hives (containing four bumblebee colonies) are especially developed for open-field crops. Quad is weather-proof, and the excellent insulation and ventilation allow the bees to perform even better.
Each colony has a Beehome door, which keeps the bumblebees inside the hive upon their return until the door is reopened. After closing the hive with this door, necessary crop protection measures can be applied or the hive can be moved to a new location for the pollination of a different crop. Bumblebee Quads may be placed up to 5 days prior to bloom, depending on crop. Hive development will continue and will last conservatively up to 8 weeks depending on crop management. Bumblebee Quads naturally expire at the end of the season. Please contact your local representative for further information.
How does Quad work?
After their release, female, “worker” bumblebees will start gathering resources (pollen and nectar) for the next batch of offspring and other worker bees. The colony will grow progressively larger over the coming weeks. A hive can reach maturity containing up to ~300-400 workers.
How to use Quad
- Quads should be placed on a pallet or other structure so as to protect it from standing water and increase air flow.
- One Quad per pallet is recommended to increase distribution points.
- It is also advisable to utilize a Koppert A-frame shade structure to protect the Quad from direct sunlight. Another popular method is to use 2 pallets wired or tied at the top to create a pallet A-frame over the Quad. It is important to erect any A-frame structure in relation to the east / west movement of the sun with the open ends of the A-frame in the north / south direction, keeping the Quad in as much shade as possible.
- Pull open the 4 flaps on the top of the plastic outer Quad box.
- Open the hive doors by pulling the sliding gate on each hive upward until the two openings become visible.
- A paper mesh tape cover is placed over the exit of each hive prior to shipping. Please do not remove this tape, the bees will chew through the paper within 30 min to 48 hours after delivery. After transit the bees are quite agitated, the placement of the tape allows the end user to safely open doors, as well as allowing the bees to acclimate themselves to their new surroundings. If the bees have not chewed out after 48 hours please call your local representative for further instruction.
- Due to the ideal foraging range it is always recommended to distribute Quads in the field with a checker board pattern. If the Quad units cannot be placed within the field, they should be evenly spaced along the perimeter of the crop.
Best working conditions Quad
Quad performs best at ambient temperatures of between 10-30°C/50-86°F
- Quad bumblebee hives contain a small amount of sugar water solution to provide resources for the bumblebees during transport.
- To guarantee the best pollination results, start using the hive on the day of arrival.
- Start using the hive no later than one day after arrival.
- Attempt to maintain the bumblebees at a temperature of between 15 – 25°C/59 - 77°F.
- Avoid direct sunlight on the hive.
Special points of attention
- Make sure the hives and the entrances are well visible, so the bumblebees can easily find their way home.
- Please handle Quad unit(s) with the arrows point up. Handling Quad units in other positions may cause damage to the hive(s). Please keep Quad unit(s) level at all times.
- In case Quad has to be moved to another location it is important that all bumblebees have returned to the hive. Press the blue sliding door down until one of the two openings is closed (the Beehome position). Once closed the bumblebees cannot exit the hive. After a period of approximately 2-4 hours foraging bumblebees will have returned to the nest, you may leave the door in the Beehome position for up 24 hours to ensure adequate trapping. Once you are ready to move, close the blue sliding door completely and place the Quad in the new location. After movement you may let the bumblebees calm down for at least half an hour prior to opening.