Researchers work to make crop pollination sustainable in the Northeast
The pollinator security project was initiated in 2011 to address a gap in knowledge with respect to pollinator communities in northeastern cropland.
Reports of declining native pollinators, decreased availability of honey bee rental colonies, and general public misunderstanding led to the creation of this working group to produce a sustainable pollination strategy for stakeholders.
The goal is to contribute to long-term profitability of fruit and vegetable production and the outcome is this webpage along with other farm training and publications to increase knowledge and adoption of practices that protect pollinator communities.
One component of this project is video segments which highlight aspects of fruit or vegetable production in the Northeast. The first in this series focuses on commercial blueberry production in Maine and comes to you in seven parts.
Part 1: Commercial Blueberry Pollination in Maine's Blueberry Barrens
Part 2: Lowbush Blueberry in Maine, Native Plants and Native Bees in a Modern System
Part 3: Pollinator Plantings (The Bee Module) for Maine Lowbush Blueberry
Part 4: Landscape Ecology in Maine's Blueberry Growing Region
Part 5: Grower Interviews and the Economics of Lowbush Blueberry in Maine
Part 6: Research Topics in Lowbush Blueberry Pollination
Part 7: How to Estimate Native Bee Abundance in the Field
1. Determine the contributions of pollinator communities and identify which site characteristics have the greatest influence on pollinator effectiveness in apple, lowbush blueberry, cranberry, and cucurbit.
2. Develop hypotheis-driven model based on factors shown to affect pollination deficits.
3. Quantify pesticide residues in pollen and relate to crop and management strategies, and estimated risk to the bee community.
4. Assess shared parasite load between introduced and native pollinator communities.
5. Analyze the economics of pollination services and determine the value of pollination service.
6. Heighten our understanding of the grower community to understand why farmers accept innovation and to increase adoption of pollinator conservation measures.
7. Facilitate knowledge transfer allowing growers to both assess and improve pollination security.
Frank Drummond, The University of Maine
Kimberly Stoner, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
John Burand, The University of Massachusetts
Brian Eitzer, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Tom Stevens, The University of Massachusetts
John Skinner, The University of Tennessee
Dave Yarborough, The University of Maine
Tracy Zarrillo, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Kalyn Bickerman, The University of Maine
Shannon Chapin, The University of Maine
Eric Venturini, The University of Maine
Michael Wilson, The University of Tennessee