Pollination is the transfer of pollen from male parts of the flower to the female parts of the same or another flower. For effective pollination humidity, sunlight, temperature and water are the most important factors. Organised pollination for certain fruit trees is essential for a decent crop and local bees to the area do not do the job properly because they know the area and rather prefer to forage on flowers that is more attractive regarding nectar and pollen.
Pollination services are supplied over wide area of the Boland where and when needed. During April land owners are contacted to determine the pollination needs for the coming season. The first swarms to be used on the plums after winter are moved to the canola fields to stimulate the breeding activities of the colony. The swarms are delivered to the orchards within 24 hours after the call has been received from the land owner, normally at 60 to 70 % bloom, and also removed within 24 hours after blooming before pesticides are sprayed.
Evolution of the honey bee
Identification of the first bees was about 80 million years ago, soon after the flowering plants began to appear, that the first bees probably evolved from an unknown wasp-like ancestor. Colonies consist of a queen, drones and worker bees. The queen lay only one type of egg, but depending on the size of the cell the egg will develop into a worker or drone. Bees of the Western Cape are classified as apis mellifera capensis.
The conversion of floral nectar to honey involves a number of processes: chemical changes brought about by enzymes, and physical changes due to the evaporation of some of the water contained in the nectar
Riebeek Kasteel, Wellington, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Grabouw, Vyeboom, Villiersdorp & Elgin