Sunday, June 21, 2015

Blueberries and Pollinators

As we wrap up Pollinator Week 2015, we’d like to share a note from the Horticulture Log:
“Staked-up the blueberry plant, which was starting to lean with the weight of its fruit.”

This is excellent news for this plant. In early spring when the plant was blooming it didn’t look like we’d be seeing blueberries this year.

During the weeks the blueberry plant (Vaccinium corymbosum, Chandler) was blooming, Horticulturist Jenn Purnell temporarily placed a second, potted blueberry bush of a different variety (Pink Lemonade) nearby so that busy pollinators could cross pollinate the two plants, ensuring heavier fruit set for both of them. As you can see, the technique worked.

Blueberries are pollinated by honeybees and bumble bees. Commercial blueberry growers are still fine-tuning the relationship between the plants and their pollinators especially honey bees. As pollinators face multiple threats, studies such as one being done at Washington State University will continue to spell out best practices for keeping bees healthy.

To read some scientific research on blueberry cross-pollination, go to

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