Bees: the secret to having large and fast growing blueberries

A new scientific study ensures that wild bees are the ingredient to obtain better and higher yields in the cultivation of cranberry

La fauna and plant species they are linked, sometimes in a equilibrium fragile and unique. This union, demonstrated in multiple scientific studies, is reinforced even more by knowing that the size and rapidity of growth of the blueberries It depends on the presence of bees.

The blueberry is a shrub that gives as a fruit a small dark blue or red berries with a sweetish flavor and an acid touch, and they belong to the family of the berries. These shrubs, according to a scientific study of the University of Vermont (USA), produce more abundant berries and faster ripening if there are beehives nearby.

The study is the first to reveal successfully that wild bees not only improve the quantities of blueberries, but also the size and other quality factors. Bees provide important benefits for berry farmers, including: larger berry size (12%), quantity (12%), size consistency (11%) and faster growing crops (two and a half days earlier) ).

Other studies have explored the effects of bees on blueberry yields, but this is the first to show that pollinating insects can also improve the quality of crops

"Other studies have explored the effects of bees on blueberry yields, but this is the first to show that the pollinating insects they can also improve the quality of crops, "says Charles Nicholson, lead author of the study.

Maximize production and profits

The study, published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and the Environment, was carried out in nine blueberry berry farms in the state of Vermont.

The researchers calculated that the presence of bees near these could increase production up to an 36% and get approximately 120.000 more euros per harvest per year, in medium-sized farms.

On other farms, researchers determined that the potential benefits of bees for production are approximately 6% on average.

This study highlights the undervalued work done by wild bees

"This study highlights the undervalued work done by wild bees," says Nicholson, noting that two-thirds of the world's most important crops benefit from pollination of bees, including coffee, cocoa (for chocolate) and many fruits and vegetables. "Without them, farmers need to find pollination elsewhere, paying high rental rates to bring bees, for example."

A swarm of bees

A swarm of bees (bo1982 / Getty Images)

The dependence on pollinators for the future of agriculture

This study was conducted in the state of Vermont (USA) a zone especially sparsely populated with bees in order to extract faithful results. "Most research on pollination occurs in regions flooded with bees," says co-author Taylor Ricketts, Director of the Gund Institute for the Environment at UVM. "That makes it really difficult to see the work that wild bees can do for farmers."

Many farmers do not realize that they may be limited by not having enough pollinators, just as they may be limited by water or nutrients

This study highlights the importance of wild bees for global agriculture. "Many farmers do not realize that they may be limited by not having enough pollinators, as they may be limited by water or nutrients," says Nicholson.

Ricketts, Nicholson and colleagues suggest that wild bees have declined considerably in recent years in United States. Between 2008 and 2013 an 23%, especially in key agricultural areas in the US UU

What can farmers and legislators do to protect wild bees?

The team at Vermon University discovered that maintaining a high proportion of the natural habitat of bees around farms can help, as well as spray less pesticides. The small actions of the owners can also help, such as mowing the lawn, planting native wildflowers and installing boxes for bees, which are like the houses for birds, but for the native bees.

This study shows, once again, that the protection of wild bee populations offers important benefits for our agricultural economy. Maintaining healthy ecosystems can be as important as providing fertilizers or water to the farmland

"This study shows, once again, that the protection of wild bee populations offers important benefits for our agricultural economy," adds Ricketts. "Maintaining healthy ecosystems can be as important as providing fertilizers or water to the farmland."

Scientific reference article:

'Wild pollinators improve production, uniformity, and timing of blueberry crops'. Charles C. Nicholson and Taylor H. Rickettsa. Published Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment Volume Click here to see the study

Source
La Vanguardia

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