Pick Your Own Blueberries in Strafford, NH

Bee-utiful!

The bees have arrived and the weather has been partly cloudy in the 60s so they have been busy pollinating our early varieties which are in bloom.  I have included two pictures of the bees.  The first is one of the bumblebees which we bought from Koppert Biological and the second is of a honeybee which we rent while the field is in bloom.  (If you click on the picture twice, it should enlarge it enough so you can actually see the bees.) The bumblebees are of the species Bombus impatiens and are a little smaller than the large wild bumblebees we see in our gardens.  They are shipped in a cardboard box called a quad which has a total of 4 hives in each box. 

We decided to use bumblebees because of their ability to buzz pollinate blueberry flowers (The actual buzzing they make when in a blueberry blossom causes the blossom to vibrate and release its’ pollen.)  and because of the uncertainty of renting enough honeybee hives.  Bumblebees can also tolerate cooler temperatures, more wind and even light rain as opposed to the honeybees.  However, when the conditions are right, there will be significantly more honeybees in the blossoms than bumblebees.  Hopefully we’ll have just the right mix to maximize pollination.

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4 responses

  1. this is so interesting! Thanks for sharing in detail.

    May 18, 2008 at 8:38 pm

  2. I know alfalfa growers use carpenter bees. Would they work for you?

    May 19, 2008 at 3:41 pm

  3. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Meninx.

    June 19, 2008 at 9:25 am

  4. Jack Stoecker

    Really enjoyed the bee info. I’ve been thinking about getting a beehive for the wetlands behind my house to help the world wide bee problem of colony collapse. I’m wondering if bumblebees might be a better idea. Is the pain from the sting the same or worse as a honey bee? Do the bumblebees make honey too? If so, it that something to harvest too?

    Can’t wait to come up for a visit in late summer. We need to collaborate with Leslie.

    Jack

    May 1, 2009 at 7:43 pm

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