One crop, almonds, depends entirely on the honey bee for pollination at bloom time. Each year, American farmers and growers continue to feed more people using less land.
With cherry and almond blooms lasting only a short time, bees in orchards need other flowering plants nearby for food. One of the largest distributors of solitary bees in the country, Mr.
About Pollination. When she visits the next flower, some of this pollen is rubbed off onto the stigma, or tip of the pistil—the female reproductive organ of the flower.
ABF Merchandise. Freese recalled that four years ago his trees were not producing well and his farm was financially struggling. Pitts-Singer and other scientists conducted a cost-benefit analysis of using blue orchard bees and honeybees to pollinate almond trees in California.
Supported by. Watts meets with farmers throughout the West about pollination. In her quest for the nectar found inside each flower's base, the bee brushes against the stigma and stamens, transferring pollen from one flower to the next. Today, however, because of intensive agricultural practices, and a sharp decline in the number of wild bees due to the use of chemicals, pollution, and destruction of insect habitat, there simply are not nearly enough wild insect pollinators to effectively pollinate our crops.
Finding Pollinators to Fill In for Honeybees. Edit This Favorite. Pollination in large almond and cherry orchards increased when they were used alongside honeybees, recent studies showed. Some years that number is even higher, according to Mark Winston, a professor of apiculture at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and author of several books on bees.
It's estimated that there are about 2. But that year, spring was expected to be cool.
They produce an abundance of food that is nutritious and safe. They also fly at different heights in the tree canopy.
A version of this article appears in print on , on Page D6 of the New York edition with the headline: Blue orchard bees are solitary, and all females function as both queens and workers. Open in the app.