New Zealand’s two commercial bumble bee producers have experienced major supply problems with pollen this past 12 months, right when demand for bumble bees has taken off. This request is for new suppliers of pollen from the beekeeping industry in an attempt to significantly grow pollen supplies in NZ. Growing the total amount of pollen gathered in NZ ensures there is plenty to supply all users.
The major driver for this has been significant growth in demand for bumble bees from covered crop growers where bumble bees are the preferred pollinator.
Covered crop growth investment is experiencing significant growth. Covered Kiwifruit acreage is growing rapidly. Blueberry acreage growth is up and will grow more rapidly if MPI has concludes negotiations with China for access to that market. Glasshouse construction for tomatoes and capsicums continues to increase. All these crops require bumble bees for pollination, for a minimum 10 month growing season. All the above crops are significant exports. New crops are being developed for covered production in order to have a longer supply season. Bumble bees are also being widely used to prolong fruit harvest and yield by using them to pollinate early season flowering, when honey bees are not as active.
To meet this increased demand for bumble bees and produce a year round supply of bumble bee hives a reliable supply of pollen is required. Forecast pollen demand for bumble bee production is to be near 8 tonnes in the 2018/19 season whereas in 2014/15 it is estimated the total NZ production is approximately 15 tonnes. Note; there is no verified monitored figure for pollen production in NZ.
Both of New Zealand’s bumble bee producers are interested in talking to all beekeepers interested in producing and supplying more pollen.
- Can you supply pollen now? Fresh frozen pollen is preferred but fines are useable. You will be supplying stock feed for bumble bees so drying/screening is not required.
- Supplying pollen to bumble bee producers is simpler than supplying pollen for human consumption. Clean pollen does not need to be screened, there are no compliance requirements, and there is no need for drying. It is required as fresh frozen pollen.
- Are you wanting to start pollen production to add to your income this season?
- You will require pollen traps, some effort and a deep freeze for storage.
- Cash flow can be monthly – as soon as the pollen arrives at the supply point.
- What do you need to diversify your bee product harvest to include pollen?
Bumble bee producers want to hear from those interested in starting to supply pollen immediately this season. Support can be given for those who wish to become a contracted supplier. This could include support for purchase of pollen traps in return for a guaranteed supply.
Contact; Mike Sim
Phone; 0800 4 ZONDA (0800 496632)
Contact; Donna Hall