Tomatillo: bumble bees

Interesting that I was reading up on raising honey bees to discover this Summer that tomatillos (the goal of my endeavors) are almost completely ignored by honey bees. They may interrogate for a short time, but they invariably end up ignoring these flowers. Bumble bees, on the other hand, showed highly selective exploratory behaviour for these flowers. They made very frequent visits to these flowers that resulted in actual time spent in the flower. These flowers yielded excellent fruit. Another group of plants without access to bumble bees but extensive access to honey bees yielded no fruit whatsoever.
I conclude that tomatillos flowers are not interesting to honey bees. They will favor essentially any other flower in the area. Thus, no point in bothering with trying to get some honey bee hives going.
I then looked a bit on the net and it seems there is a hugely disproportionate amount of info about raising bumble bees. I am curious, do farmers who raise such plants make any special provisions to raise bumble bees? Anyone know any good literature on how best to get a colony going in close proximity to my plants? Info regarding honey bees is not applicable for the case of bumble bees.
Dominic
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For the life of me can't understand why anyone would want to encourage bumble bees near your plantings. Clearly you have had little experience in defending yourself from those beasts. I had to rush my son to the emergency room when he was 5 after stumbling into a nest of bumble bees, and I've been stung also. He was rewarded with 5 stings to the top of his head at once. Bumble bees are fiercely territorial, at least the ones here in Texas are. I encourage you to simply hand pollinate your tomatillos....or buy them at the supermarket. I can do with more honey bees and fewer bumble bees. Thomas

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Bumble bees around here are faily docile - they nest in the ground and don't bother anyone. I work around them all day long in my garden and have never had a problem with them. They're good pollinators.
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Ann
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On Sun, 18 Sep 2005, Thomas wrote:

Thomas, your comments, while negative, are nonetheless very welcome. Here in Sweden, all the bees, including bumble bees, are comparatively very tame. I do not know about the pollination quality in tame versus aggressive bumble bees, but it is well-described in the literature that the more aggressive honey bees are also the most productive. That remark is generally made as a rule of thumb, so maybe some exceptions exist. It seems that high bioproductivity runs somewhat contrary to human safety. Again, bumble bees have thus far proven to be the most effective pollinators of tomatillos and this has been checked throughout the day-night cycle with mid to late afternoon having the highest number of visitations. Other bees and some flies only displayed short-lived exploratory behaviour without ever closely approaching or landing in the flowers. These other insects failed to return, focusing on other plants in the area. By comparison, Bumble bees congregated at the tomatillos and spent a great deal of time working the flowers. It was not uncommon to find more than 2 bumble bees on each plant.
Hand pollination in my experience, on the other hand, is highly inefficient (please note the number of bumble bees working these plants and the great amount of time). I tried despite several earlier warnings from those with experience that hand pollination would not work well. I tried different tricks with different brushes with very poor success (e.g., incomplete fertilization giving lopsided fruit, small and few fruit, etc). I have not tried the commercial electric bee yet, but would gladly accept advice on a particular device that is known to work well with tomatillo or tomato flowers. I do some electronics for a hobby, so if someone has a suggested frequency and amplitude for mimicking bumble bees, that would be great.
Dominic-Luc Webb
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