Blueberries are a high value crop in Pennsylvania.
To better understand the status of pollination services to blueberries in the Mid-Atlantic region, we are conducting a survey that will help us identify grower’s needs for pollination and specific gaps in our understanding about how to fulfill those needs.
If you grow blueberries on your farm, please consider participating in this short survey. The estimated amount of time to answer all questions is 2-3 minutes. This survey will be available until September 1, 2018. You will have the option of participating in our research if you are interested. Please contact Margarita López-Uribe (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Survey: Blueberry Farm Pollination
Blueberries are a high-value crop that requires insect-mediated pollination to obtain profitable yield levels. The honey bee is the most important managed pollinator (of blueberries and many other crops), but their numbers have declined by 61% in the US during the past 70 years, with losses that hover around 40%/year in the Mid-Atlantic region. These colony losses have significantly increased honey bee rental costs (~$100/hive), which translates into increased production costs for farmers and prices for consumers.
While some native bees can provide free pollination services to blueberries, their abundance is highly dependent on the farm’s landscape characteristics and size. Therefore, pollination services by native bees are often considered unreliable.
Dr. López-Uribe is currently investigating the effect of beekeeping practices and agricultural on the stability and health of honey bee and native bee populations. Margarita is interested in using citizen science to engage the public into pollinator research and to increase awareness about the environmental problems bees are currently facing. To read more about Dr. López-Uribe's research, check out the López-Uribe Lab website!
Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research is comprised of a dynamic group of more than 25 independent faculty, including researchers, educators, extension specialists and outreach coordinators, spanning multiple departments and colleges. Together we are committed to studying the factors impacting pollinator health and developing and implementing creative approaches to pollinator conservation.