Apr 6, 2023
Bumblebee pollination can improve yield, quality

While it is well known that bumblebees pollinating strawberry crops lead to yield and quality improvements, research has shown it can also impact positively on the shelf life of the fruit, according to a news release from Biobest.

Bumblebees use a unique pollination method called “buzz” pollination to pollinate strawberries.

Bumblebees use a unique pollination method called “buzz” pollination, Liam Harvey, Biobest IPM and pollination specialist, said in the release. Vibrating their wing muscles at a frequency of 200 to 400Hz, the buzzing causes anthers to vibrate. Subsequently, they release large amounts of pollen on to the bumblebees, Harvey said in the release.

Bumblebees can improved yields.

“Bumblebees are effective pollinators of strawberry flowers and their visits lead to increased fruit set – more strawberries per plant and a higher yield for growers,” Harvey said in the release.

The bumblebees also help enhance quality.

“These highly efficient pollinators can also improve the overall quality of the strawberries,” Harvey said in the release. “When the flowers are properly pollinated, the resulting fruits are larger, more uniform in shape and benefit from improved texture and flavor.”

Alongside quality and yield improvements, Harvey said pollination by bumblebees can make a significant impact on the shelf life of the fruits.

“The shelf life of strawberries is primarily determined by factors such as the fruits’ maturity, handling and storage practices and environmental conditions,” Harvey said in the release. “However, research has shown that bumblebee pollination can lead to improved shelf life – through increased redness, a reduced sugar to acid ratios and improvements in firmness.”

Biobest provides growers a wide range of biological control and pollination products.


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