Why Tahi’s bees
don’t pollinate
crops.

Tahi Honey comes only from hives placed in wild, natural habitats, and never mono-floral commercial orchards. We DO NOT use our bees for commercial pollination to ensure that high levels of natural pollens remain in Tahi honey.

Why? Because intensive farming of monofloral crops reduces bee habitats and replaces multiple food sources with single, often less nutritious, sources6. It’s believed that this, together with exposure to pesticides and fungicides, may create environmental stressors that are factors in the dieoff (Colony Collapse Disorder) of bees7. Many studies have shown that that pollen from a variety of sources makes bees more resistant to stresses by enhancing their immune systems.8

Pollen from different plants varies in nutritional value. Some pollen, like sunflower pollen, has insufficient nutritional value for bees9. Therefore, a sound practice is to ensure a wide range of pollen is available. In New Zealand, bees are used to pollinate kiwifruit but this plant offers no nectar and so the bees must be fed sugar.

Recently researchers discovered “that most of the crops that the bees were pollinating appeared to provide their hives with little nourishment”.10 In fact, when researchers in the USA collected pollen from bees foraging on crops such as blueberries and watermelon, they found the pollen came from other flowering plants in the area, not from the crops.

 

6. Huang Z. (2012) Pollen nutrition affects honey bee resistance. Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews 5: 175-189.
7. vanEngelsdorp D, Evans JD, Saegerman C, Mullin C, Haubruge E et al. (2009) Colony Collapse Disorder: A Descriptive Study. PLOS ONE (8): e6481. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006481.
8. Huang Z. (2012) Pollen nutrition affects honey bee resistance. Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews 5: 175-189.
9, 10. Schmidt LS, Schmidt JO, Rao H et al. (1995) Feeding preference of young worker honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) fed rape, sesame and sunflower pollen. Journal of Economical Entomology88: 1591-1595.