Bumblebees are active at temperatures near 5°C (40°F), honeybees become active at temperatures near 15-18°C (60-65°F).
Bumblebees will fly in winds of up to 64km/hr (40mph) and are active on cloudy, foggy, and rainy days. Honeybees are less active at low light levels.
Bumblebees pollinate flowers through a method called “buzz pollination”, a rapid vibrating motion which releases large amounts of pollen onto the bee. In most situations, “buzz pollination” will allow a bumblebee to pollinate a flower in a single visit. A honeybee typically needs to visit a flower between 7-10 times before it is fully pollinated.
Bumblebees lack the sophisticated communication system of honeybees, so they are less likely to leave your crop for more attractive flowers.
Unlike honeybees, bumblebees are attracted to flowers with narrow corolla tubes, such as blueberries and cranberries.
Bumblebees are much more efficient pollinators than honeybees. They mainly forage for pollen rather than nectar, and transfer more pollen to the pistils with each visit.
Bumblebees promote higher rates of cross-pollination, as they forage between plants more randomly than honeybees.
Bumblebees visit many more blooms per minute than honeybees.
Bumblebees work earlier in the morning and later into the evening hours.
Bumblebees are safer for you and your employees. Bumblebees are non-swarming and much less aggressive than honeybees. No bee-keeping experience is necessary to work with bumblebees.