Blueberrytalk's Weblog

Everything connected to growing blueberries

When the buzzing stops

Posted by blueberrytalk on May 6, 2010

As I go up and down the blueberry rows applying fertilizer, I make a mental note of the number of times I get “buzzed” by queen bumblebees. Over the last week the amount of buzzing has decreased. The means that the queens are retreating to their nests to spend the rest of their lives laying and incubating bumblebee eggs. The queen only does this when she has raised up some worker bumblebees to do the foraging for the colony. Worker bumblebees don’t “buzz” like the queens they just focus on their foraging. Now the number of bumblebees in the field will grow every day as the bumblebee colony rapidly expands.

Later blooming varieties like Elliot and Draper have just started to blossom so these varieties can really benefit from an exploding population of bumblebees.

worker bumblebee

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2 Responses to “When the buzzing stops”

  1. satnam said

    I am growing blueberries in 14032 zip area varities are DUKE,BONUS,TORO,DRAPER,LIBERTY AND AURORA TOTAL 16000 PLANTS. THIS IS SECOND YEAR IN THE FIELD. 14 FULL BOXES OF HONEY BEES ARE COMING TODAY.I noticed that duke has bloomed for the last too weeks but no fruit formation yet. will I benefit from the bees?

  2. blueberrytalk said

    Introducing bees is best after about 10% bloom so the bees don’t go after some other source away from your farm.
    We try to prune off as many fruit buds as possible in the first couple of years to establish good plant size and vigor.

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