Horticentre - Horticultural Supplies Specialists New Zealand  - For Growers, By Growers


The efficient pollinator

Bumblebees are incredibly efficient pollinators of many commercially grown plants and work for longer and faster than honeybees do. Their large size and hairy body allows for the effective collection and deposition of large quantities of pollen. Good pollination increases the quality (bigger fruit with more seeds), and quantity (higher percentage of fruit set), and can be the difference between a meagre or bountiful crop.

Biobees Limited is the largest bumblebee supplier in New Zealand. They produce easily managed hives for the pollination of commercially grown crops and provide strong, standardised hives for an effective pollination that last for a minimum of 4 weeks if appropriately cared for.

Biobees hives are available from Horticentre at no extra cost, so you can conveniently order your hives through your local Horticentre representative while getting the lowest price on the market.

Outdoor crops

Bumblebees are extremely efficient pollinators in outdoor crops too! Biobees now offers weather-resistant boxes for outdoor use.

Easy to manage

  • Hives can be transported between different crops to satisfy different pollination periods
  • No ongoing maintenance or sugar feeding
  • You own them

Bumblebees vs honeybees

  • A single bumblebee is worth many honeybees, at least 50 in certain crops like kiwifruit
  • Bumblebees work faster, in worse weather and for more of the day than honeybees do
  • Bumblebees perform better under all forms of crop cover, from netting to full plastic and fully enclosed sides
  • Bumblebees are better at cross-pollination than honeybees
  • Bumblebees are poor communicators, they won't all leave the crop for richer flowers like honeybees will
  • Bumblebees work well when used with honeybees, achieving better overall pollination than one species alone

Ideal working range

  • Mainly within a 50 m radius from hive: bumblebees are easier to keep focused on your crop
  • Easier to spread evenly throughout the crop
  • Density of hives is crop specific so please ask us for advice

Sturdy hive construction

  • Weather resistant two hive box available
  • Guaranteed minimum 4 weeks


For the first time in New Zealand, the Flying doctors®

Specially developed pollen dispensing hives will be available for trials in kiwifruit this year for the first time. These can be used to take artificially harvested pollen out to the crop. The bumblebees transfer the pollen directly to the flowers, meaning less waste and significant pollen and labour savings, plus hives can be moved from gold to green to further minimise costs.

Used increasingly in Italy to pollinate kiwifruit, trials show it is as effective as hand pollination in the absence of males.

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