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Thailand, any bees for tomatoes aubergines and others suitable for a closed greenhouse?

Hello to all bee loving Farangs and Thais.

I have a swarm very tiny (5 millimeter) bees occupying my door bell button.
To find out more I followed them as good I could and they are also landing on our tomatoes, aubergines cucumber flowers.

Just wondering if they would be suitable for my planned Aquaponics Farm where a closed Greenhouse of 8000 sqm is planned.
The Greenhouse will be entirely closed with corrugated poly-carbon roofing and mosquito net walls and roof vents against all the little invaders.

I have no clue what kind of bees they are, but my best guess is that they are some kind of sweat bees.
I also found out the hard way, because i thought I have met some Thai sting less bees, they sting as nasty as the classic Thai honeybee.
I am quite resistant and don’t feel much, but my wife made some funny jumps and was running pretty fast as I steered them up by knocking at the box.

Beside that they demobilized my door bell I fell in love with these tiny critters from day one.

May be somebody knows more than me, what would be the best pollinator in an aquaponics greenhouse and how to find the sting less bee in Thailand?

I’m following you idea of having a roof for the Monsoon season, but I have to ask why the curtains? Without them pollination would be so easy with the local bees and other insects. Otherwise you will need a hive or two of bees.
Cheers

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Hello Peter,

We started 2014 building a small backyard aquaponics system to teach my my wife and her nephews the more easy way of modern farming on a smaller footprint.
Here you go… it shows barely half of my now occupied backyard and none of all experiences we made here in the tropics.


One of the biggest enemies beside harsh rainfalls are Pests.
In aquaponics you can’t use pesticides as it will kill your fish and antibiotics will kill the plants.
The slogan of the Thai Government says, the good ones in and the bad ones out and it fits just in our little world.
We have to rely on insects that eat Pests but better is we keep them out.
Hence the netting will help a lot and if some critter makes its way in it will be eaten by the good insects before they are able to spread.
As I said, we started 2014, spent about 2 Mil baht in this learning system and it will safe a fortune when we go commercial in about 2 years…
Pollination is still an open issue and that’s why I joined this forum.
My Grandfather had bees and I love them too, just not for the honey…

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Thanks for your reply Willy. I agree pollination will be the biggest wall for you to jump over there. It looks a great set up and a lot of thought and money has gone into it. Well done.

LOVE YOUR PICTURE BY THE WAY.

'm a bit of a Gardner and fish.

Bees will need way more food than your greenhouse would provide so it can’t be closed.

Black fly are a good choice to introduce and good food for fish.

Unless you self pollinate with paint brush which for me would be tedious unless large fruit veg like pumpkins, melon, cucumber, zucchini.

Choosing what you grow will help self pollinating or cross pollinating plants like sweetcorn

HappyHibee,
Cheers for your reply,

It was a long way to find out what is the demand,
how to stand off the crowd with specimens that will grow here and some a so delicate when it comes to pests, that a full cover greenhouse is essential for success.
The Black fly -I recon you mean the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens) is playing a major role in my zero waste management for my farm plus will be taking part to keep the fish food costs down. Especially where the prices for fish meal from wild catches are going sky-high.
The common honeybee is out of question as it needs way too much room (5 Km radius) but the sting less bee needs just a 100m and so does the bumble Bee.
But last one isn’t suitable for the Thai temperatures what is a pity as its sight is much better than other bees and isn’t easy to confuse by the diffused light in the greenhouse.
Also is a bumble bee better for tomatoes as their flowers need vibrations to release pollen.
But all bees are better pollinators than a human with a paint brush…

But beside all this knowledge I am still at the very beginning to search for the favorite bee as greenhouse worker.
I still hope that one day a bee expert pops up here and drops me a note that makes the big change…

Cheers to all who follow and reply, every hint could help.
And for so long I am watching these little ones that uses the box of my door bell button as hive…
They seem to be only a few 100 as the box is 4x4x1.5 inches.
Looking like sweat bees… and can sting like a grown up… :wink:

You can “spank” tomatoes to help pollinate and fans would help oscillate.

Good luck with whatever route you go down it’s great to see.

True words as most of all Tomato Farmers in The Netherlands use a kind of Vibrator.
Reverting on results of scientists using the sting-less bee on bell peppers and tomatoes the outcome was basically the same in weight of the yield, but the harvest pollinated by bees were a better quality rate and less 2nd choice fruits.
And the fact that Thailand has a whole year summer allows a whole year pollination by bees…
(Or other Insects)
This matter gives alone enough motivation to find out more, even it ends up in a waste of time (or maybe not)

Hi willy! Just stumbled upon this thread from a random Google search. I’m curious about your bees. Maybe a photo? Is there a build up of resin around the opening of their hive? Stingless bees love little spots like that and they’re super common here- could it be possible you do in fact have stingless bees and they’re just giving your wife little bites? They definitely can bite if they feel threatened enough. Some species tend to be a bit more bitey and aggressive than others. They’re not too hard to transfer and make great pollinators if so.
I’m actually not very experiences with sweat bees, but I have plenty of stingless bee hives that I keep around my house… Some by choice, some not so much :sweat_smile: they’re big fans of bamboo patio furniture. Anyway, if you have a picture of them and their opening, maybe I could help ID them :slight_smile:

Hi Jessie,

I am since 22.02. stuck on a job in Taiwan due to the COVID 19 travel restrictions.
I had yesterday a call with my wife and asked her but she told me that the bees have moved again.

But still it is interesting to know how you got yours?
I have an abundance of giant Bamboo 300 Miles away from my home town, but I regularly visit that area.
So I could may be attract some by hanging pieces with entry holes in my garden?

How they should be designed that they accept them?

Cheers

Willy