Blueberrytalk's Weblog

Everything connected to growing blueberries

Archive for the ‘Wild bee’ Category


Posted by blueberrytalk on July 2, 2010

A small wild bee enjoys a visit to a fireweed blossom.

Wild bee & fireweed

Posted in Fireweed, Wild bee | 1 Comment »

Wild bees of Michigan

Posted by blueberrytalk on May 8, 2009

Native bees can be a big help in pollinating blueberries. With not much effort the population of Bumblebees and Mason bees can be increased by growing Anise Hyssop for the bumblebees and providing nests for the Mason bees. A study in Michigan found lots of wild bees.

Julianna Tuell, a postdoctoral Michigan State University entomology researcher who studies pollinating insects, was surprised at what she found in the blueberry fields of southwestern Michigan.

“We found 112 species during blueberry bloom, and 166 species overall,” Tuell said. “They aren’t all visiting blueberries, but at least half of them are contributing to pollination. There’s a really wide diversity of bees across the season, with some that provide pollination during bloom and are also active later in the season.”

 The research team also found seven bee species that had not previously been found as far north as Michigan. These findings, which have been published in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America, not only point to a more diverse ecosystem in the managed blueberry fields, but they also mean that growers may have more options than previously thought for pollinating their crops.

 “We encourage growers to think about integrated crop pollination,” Tuell said. “The grower brings in managed bees but does things to encourage natural pollinators and modifies some practices to help beneficial insects. Growers are interested and surprised by how many bees are out there.”

Michigan wild bee

Michigan wild bee


Posted in Wild bee | Leave a Comment »

Little bee with a big heart

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 16, 2008

When this little wild bee was found she was right inside a blueberry blossom. Notice the white blueberry pollen on her back leg. Campare this bee with a honeybee alongside a blueberry blossom.

Tiny wild bee    Click on image to enlarge.   honeybee and blueberry blossom

The wild bee was caught in a jar and put in the fridge for a few moments to slow her down. She slowed down enough to pose for this picture. As soon as the picture was taken the bee began to stir and then flew off to continue her work.

Posted in pollination, Wild bee | Leave a Comment »