- Fruits: berries (other), berries (brambles)
- Animals: bees
- Education and Training: technical assistance
- Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, wildlife
- Production Systems: general crop production
The recent decline in honeybee populations is a problem for fruit growers as it eliminates their primary source for pollination. This project proposes to test the use of solitary bee pollinators as a cost-effective and sustainable addition to honey bees as cane fruit pollinators. It is designed to increase awareness of berry growers and others of the existence and diversity of solitary bees and simple ways to preserve and manage this resource. Webcams inside bee nests and throughout the orchard will provide real-time visual information online about the bees and crops, allowing researchers and grower insight into the development of the project. Plans are to present the project at the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission meeting in December 2009.
Project objectives from proposal:
This project has three main objectives:
1. To develop populations of native bees on our berry farm in Corbett, OR, particularly the Oregon berry bee, Osmia aglaia, as well as other native species that may contribute to berry pollination.
2. To determine the feasibility and cost of using a webcam to get feedback from experts to help us manage populations of native bees during berry bloom.
3. To increase awareness by berry growers and others of the existence and diversity of native bees and of simple ways to preserve and manage this resource. In addition, we hope that the webcam will allow growers not included directly in the research to become involved and learn about berry pollination by native bees in real time.