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Beekeepers at Bejo strive to breed top-quality colonies and keep the bee population healthy.

Bees are the seed company’s main pollinators, helping to fertilise 80% of its crops. Varroa mites pose a huge threat to the insects. Research and selection aimed at promoting bee health are therefore of crucial importance, says Bejo apiarist Bram Vroegop. Bees are pollination champions, Vroegop points out; if we lose them, we’ll have a big problem. The reason the insects are so effective is that they can be deployed in a controlled manner in large numbers. Each hive a beekeeper places in a greenhouse or a field contains a colony of 20,000 to 40,000 pollinators. “The health of the bees is very important,” says. “A colony has to be in peak condition. Bees have an unerring sense of when a crop is ready for pollination. And the quality of the bees determines the extent of pollination.”

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