Blueberries and bumblebees | CAI

The other working day, my ladies and I frequented our close friend Stephen Spear at his decide your-individual blueberry farm in Dennis. He walked us out to the woods along with the fields, wherever a box of bumblebees had just arrived from Michigan.

“There’s about 250 [bees] in there. So you see this very little plastic door I have to appear in there…There we go, there is one particular coming out, and two, I’m gonna again up,” claimed Stephen.

The bees commence flying out of the box, searching about and obtaining their bearings.

Stephen points out that the orange stuff on the bees is pollen.

Slowly but surely, we observe the bees out of the woods and toward the blueberries. Stephen suggests he’s been bringing in mail purchase bumblebees to pollinate his crop for more than a 10 years.

“They’re the frequent species for the Eastern part of the United States, bombus impatience is their Latin title and they are generally the exact as what we have all around right here by natural means.”


When Stephen to start with begun farming blueberries, community bumblebees pollinated the vegetation. But finally, this stopped doing work.

“Because as the crops got greater and there ended up a lot more and more flowers, I had a 12 months exactly where I could see there was not finish pollination.”

He could inform simply because the fruit was quite little and has no seed in it. It was also variety of flat tasting, so when he noticed that he realized he required to dietary supplement. There had been just as well several bouquets in just one area at one time for the locals to do the job.

Each and every blueberry flower has about twenty ovules, which are the feminine component of the plant that desires to be fertilized to create into seeds. Not like some fruits, which only want half or two thirds of their ovules pollinated, blueberries need pretty much all of them of them for excellent fruit growth.

“But the thing about bumblebees is they can just take treatment of all those people in about three visits, whereas honeybees it will take them up to 20 visits to do the exact same point. Bumblebees kind of co-developed with blueberries and some of the other native flowers so their tongues are lengthier so they can get down that prolonged umbrella shaped flower and they also have this technique that only a couple of other bees have and it’s named excitement pollination.”

According to Stephen, buzz pollination is when the bee clings to the open finish of the flower and defeat its wings a little bit—not so significantly to fly—but they just continue to keep transferring their wing muscle groups and it sets up a form of a vibration in which the pollen is dislodged and comes down the flower and will get all in excess of them, which is what they want.  In the process it will get on the female pieces and starts to have fertilization.


When Stephen suggests woman parts he’s speaking about the ovules. And he claims it would get 15,000 honeybees to pollinate his acre and a 50 percent of blueberries.

“And which is so quite a few you’d see them pretty conveniently in this scenario there is 3 or 400 bees concerning all those we brought in and the locals and you say gosh will it get fertilized and it does.”

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