Maine blueberry fields are abuzz

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:21 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DEBLOIS, Maine (WABI) - As No Mow May winds down, folks are reminded this is just the beginning for promoting pollinators.

Wyman’s Blueberry barrens were buzzing with activity as bees made their way around to pollinate the flowers.

“This crop requires a significant amount of pollination to be successful. In fact, it’s the most important input we can have in our crop. And so, a lot of our work is really focused around developing long term relationships with beekeepers,” said Bruce Hall, Wyman’s director of agroecology. “Wyman’s pollinators are kind of number one, they’re the most important input that predicts our crop yield.”

Colonies have been in danger over the years from the threat of climate change, habitat destruction, and certain pesticides.

But, many don’t realize the consequences of a world without pollinators.

At Wyman’s farm, pollination doesn’t just affect the blueberries, it affects much, much more.

“Statistics show that one in every three bites of food that we eat requires a pollinator of some kind, right? So, it’s not just wild blueberries and maybe your apples, your tree nuts, your vegetables, green beans, tomatoes, everything that you’re going to the produce section of your local grocery store. The vast majority of everything you’re seeing in that section requires a pollinator,” said Hall.

By maintaining a healthy environment for the bees and having a diverse bee population, it gives them a good spot to take in the sun, get some grub, and spread the pollen.

“Bees and blueberries, you know, they we say no bees, no berries. Bees are our passion just as much as blueberries, and there’s a lot of really good work being done out there and to support bees. And, you know, I think the more we can do to provide resilient habitat for bees, the better. It’s vital to our industry, and it’s also because as humans, it’s vital to our diet as well. So, I encourage people to think a little bit about what they could do in their own landscape and to help them make some improvements,” said Hall.

To learn more about bees, how they pollinate native crops, and how you can help protect populations, check out these links:

UMaine Cooperative Extension

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Penn State University Cooperative Extension