Pollination of blueberry with bees, subject of a scientific publication

The Doctor in Biological Sciences Pablo Cavigliasso, INTA Concordia Researcher and member of the INTA Beekeeping Program (PROAPI), published in the Scientific Reports Magazine the article entitled “Precision management of pollination services for blueberry crops”. This work was co-authored by Negri, P .; Viel, M .; Graziani, MM; Challiol, C .; Bello, F. & Saez, A.

The article quantifies the pollination efficiency, which could be improved if the management related to the intensity of visits by bees to blueberry flowers, distribution and health care of bees is taken into account. Data shows that, on average, precision pollination plots had 70% more bee visits to flowers and produced 13% more fruits that were 12% heavier and 12% firmer than those obtained. through conventional practices.

Although the area devoted to pollinator-dependent crops is increasing, their availability is decreasing, causing problems in many agroecosystems. For this reason, crop growers relying on pollinators often rent hives to meet their pollination needs to maintain fruit productivity. However, the efficiency of these pollination systems has not been extensively studied.

Based on the work linked between INTA, EEA Concordia, UN Comahue, UNMP and Beeflow INC. The problem has been addressed using as a study model the blueberry crops of the Salto Grande region, comparing the effect of “precision” pollination (that is, the application of pesticides coordinated with the producers, the audit of the hives, the dietary supplementation and individual distribution of hives) with conventional practices (i.e. pesticide applications without coordination with producers and without hive audit, low hive maintenance and hives distributed in large groups) above the average level of pollination (visits by bees), production and quality of fruits in different productive plots.

In nine fields of blueberries, the rate of visits of bees to the flowers, percentage of fruit formation, firmness and weight of the fruit were measured. On average, precision pollination plots had 70% more bee visits to flowers and produced 13% more fruits that were 12% heavier and 12% firmer than conventional practices. These results showed that pollination efficiency could be improved if management related to the strength, distribution and health care of bees is taken into account.

The English version of the full paper can be found at the following link, click here Due to these results, we encourage producers and beekeepers to include precision pollination practices to increase the productivity of blueberry fields and the welfare of bees within agroecosystems.

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