Bee friendly

A project of Farm Frites Poland Dwa and the local beekeepers: Zofia and Jan Króliszyn.

 

Project assumptions

Zbieranie miodu.

Every year on the Farm Frites Poland Dwa (FFP2) fields more than 700 ha of rapeseed is grown. One of the elements of sustainable agriculture being currently implemented by the management of FFP2 is to protect the bees. The company managers have decided to work with a local beekeeper, Mr. Jan Króliszyn, who is a retired employee and has kept bees for many years. Mr Króliszyn intended to gradually reduce the size of his apiary, due to the condition of the hives. FFP2 offert him help by purchasing some new hives and repairing existing ones, so he would not have to reduce the number of bee colonies that he takes care of.

This cooperation also includes placing hives in an optimal distance from agricultural fields, and tightening the relations by application of good agricultural practices that are friendly for bees. Planning plant protection treatments, FFP2 is guided by the following principles:

  • One of the criteria for selection of chemicals used on the farm fields is the lowest level of toxiticy for bees
  • The beekeeper is informed and consulted before any spraying on nearby fields
  • Plant protection treatments are performed only in case of exceeding the threshold of harmful pests
  • The provisions contained on the labels or users manuals are strictly followed
  • Treatments are not performed while the wind is too strong
  • Applications are made in the evenings, when the bees have finished they daily flight routines.

The honey made of the flowers from our fields is examined. The scope of the research will be agreed with the representative of the Regional Beekeepking Association in Gdansk.

Bees - allies of the farmer

Plaster miodu w pasiecie Państwa Króliszynów

Pollination of plants by insects is beneficial not only for the quantity but also for the quality of the yield. Even the best agricultural treatments and chemical protection will not bring the expected results if the plants are isolated from access to pollinators. That is why the bees are not only welcome in the crop but also desirable.

There are more than 450 species of bees, referred to as wild bees, in Poland. However, the most important pollinator is the honey bee and this is the most desirable species in an agricultural environment.

There is a large group of plants that benefits on presence of pollinators, although to some extent they are self-pollinating. These include, inter alia: rapeseed, millet, mustard, poppy, yellow lupine and soybean.

The other group of those species are the ones whose yield is fully, or almost fully dependent on insects. These include: sunflower, alfalfa, fruit trees, berries (strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries) and others.

 

The importance of bees to crops of rapeseed

It is estimated that the honey bee, who is the only species whose presence on plantations can be adjusted, has a 20% share in the pollination of the rapeseed crops. The amount of bees ranges from 15 to 20 thousand in spring to 60 thousand in mid summer. During sunny days and at a temperature of about 20 degrees C, there should be 4 to 6 bees per a square meter. With such assumptions, in order to ensure proper pollination, on 1 ha of rapeseed there should be 2 to 5 colonies.

Pollination of rapeseed crops by insect causes:

  • A shorter time of the flowering canopy
  • An increase of seed set rate
  • Earlier formation and maturation of siliqua
  • An increase of the number of seeds per siliqua

It is estimated that the share of bees in pollination of rapeseed, depending on weather conditions during the flowering period, causes an increase in yield from 10 to 30%. The biggest yield gain is caused by a greater number of formed seeds in siliquae by an average of 20 to 25%. In addition, the pollination of flowers by bees improves the quality of the seeds.

In the integrated crop protection of rapeseed it is very important to plan and to carry out the treatments so as to minimize the risk to pollinators. Protection of bees during spraying is required by the legislation.

Extinction of bee colonies

Another important reason for FFP2 to get involved into this project is the fact that the number of bees began to decline rapidly. In the years 2006 - 2007 in North America 1/3 of the bee colonies became extinct, and a year later the same crisis reached Europe. In 2010 the British researchers have discovered that in the hives 15% of the colonies have disappeared within 2 years.

In Poland the average loss is about 15% yearly. We want to help bees because the bonds between human beings and these little insects seem to be obvious. Many years ago, Albert Einstein said that if bees die, people will follow their fate in four years.

Our goal is to gradually increase the scope of this project. According to our findings, still many bee colonies could find favorable conditions for the bees useful activities in the fields of our farm. Helping the bees we help ourselves.

We will buy part of the honey from the beekeeper and we will give jars of the golde fluid to our workers and numerous guests, visiting our farm and the plant of Farm Frites Poland. We believe that the taste, flavor and nutritional values of the honey made of fields and flowers of FFP2 will be a nice showcase for our good agricultural practice and attention to biodiversity in the fields.

Facts about bees. Did you know...

Pan Jan Króliszyn przy pracy.

1kg

this is the weight of 10 000 bees

1kg

this amount of honey bees could collect if they travelled 2 times around the globe

30 km/h

that is a speed of a flying bee

100-150

this is the number of flowers a bee visits during one flight

2 000

the scientists have tried to solve the mystery of the was for that many years

20 000

the bees have to make that many flights to collect 1 liter of nectar which will be used to produce just 150 g of honey

25 000

a bee's wing does that many cycles during the flight

750 000

that many flowers have to be visited by bees so 1 kg of honey can be made


Based on a publication dated May 2012 "Helping the bees with help of Kuyavia regio", organized by ZT Kruszwica SA, with cooperation with ing. Grzegorz Pruszyński from IOR-PIB

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