Providing habitat for native pollinators and determination of native pollinator contribution to pollination of cucurbits and blueberries at farm sites
Twelve farms were visited and data was collected on 10 different crops and 27 flowers for bee food. The bees visiting these flowers were organized into 9 categories, with a reference collection more accurately describing the species that make up each bee category.
- Document what groups of bees are providing visitation to insect pollinated crops in the study area. Determine what bees utilize a number of flowers used in bee food plots.
1 .Visitation data and reference collection completed
2. Statistic analysis began on visitation data.
A previous objective closed: Without statistical analysis, we found that stick nests for native bees have highly variable usage in our area. Some locations see some usage, and others do not. A variety of bees used the nests, but their numbers were few. We setup 10 nests with plentiful, various sized holes. To collect enough data for analysis of stick nests in our area, it will likely require very high numbers of nests and locations. We used nests that require considerable effort to build. Future studies in our area should utilize inexpensive, disposable materials like cardboard tubes. The reasons for low usage was unknown, but it is likely there are many stick nests already available in surrounding habitat. There may have been too many choices for stick nesting bees. The stick nesting part of the project was abandoned to focus on the bee visitation objectives listed above.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
I worked closely with most of the farmer co-operators to better understand what bees were in their field. One co-operator actively collected data that will be used in the final analysis. Two of the co-operators planted food plots for bees and tried the native bee nests. Through conversations with co-operators we discussed the need for native bees and honey bees in crop pollination.
225 RIVERVIEW CHURCH ROAD
Bean Station, TN 37708
Blueberry Hill Farm
101 Reservoir Rd
Norris, TN 37828
The Fruit and Berry Patch
4407 McCloud Rd.
Knoxville, TN 37938
Blueberries on the Buffalo Farm
78 Cemetery Road
Lawrenceburg, TN 38464
Office Phone: 9319644578