Biene auf Sonnenblume
Bee on a Sunflower

Sunflower crops, which did not yet exist in Switzerland in the 1990s, have recently been gaining in importance. With its almost-10 million flowers per hectare and a long flowering period, the sunflower gives the impression of being a worthwhile plant for flower pollinators. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) and in particular bumblebees (Bombus sp) are attracted to it in great numbers. According to the literature, pollen and nectar production is average-to-good. But is this crop advantageous for honeybee colonies in Swiss conditions? We followed-up this question for two seasons.