August 1, 2011-July 31, 2014
Level of Access
The purpose of this project is to determine the relative economic values of wild bee pollinators and commercial honeybees in lowbush blueberry production for individual Maine farms. The lowbush blueberry requires insect pollination in order to set fruit. Most farmers rent colonies of the non-native honeybee for pollination services, but wild, native bees are also effective pollinators. This project aims to provide growers with the means to assess the pollination needs of individual fields and to understand the levels of pollination possible if honeybees are not available. In order to achieve these goals, the relative abundance and species diversity of native bees found foraging on blueberry flowers will be determined. This information, along with crop yield, will be used to calculate the economic value of native bees as a community and how much value to attribute to honeybees and common native bee groups. Native bee abundance and diversity will also be examined in relation to field characteristics and farm management practices. Workshops and on-farm trainings will provide farmers the means to assess their pollination needs and develop a sustainable pollination strategy based upon use of honeybees and/or native bees.
Drummond, Francis A., "An Economic Analysis of Wild Bee Pollination in Lowbush Blueberry Production" (2014). University of Maine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: Grant Reports. 51.