Evaluation of field density, cultivar preference, and northeast grower evaluation of the hornfaced bee as an alternative sustainable pollinator for highbush blueberry production
The objectives of 2008 was to recover from the reduction in hornfaced bee numbers in 2007 as a result from mite infestations and blossom damage from frost. Efforts were placed on determining the type of mite infestation and a proper control method to ensure that shipment of bees in 2009 would be mite free. Also efforts were place on increasing hornfaced bee numbers that were mite-free.
25 growers were selected in 2007 to receive hornfaced bees and supplies to evaluate for the 2007 and 2008 growing season. This performance target has been shifted to the 2009 and 2010 growing season because of the decreased population setbacks from 2007 and the subsequent focus on increasing the mite-free bee population in 2008.
Based on the success of completion of the first project milestone from 2006. Part of the second milestone was accomplished in 2007. Twenty-five growers have been selected to receive a hornfaced bee trial pollinator packet which will include bees, housing materials and use instructions. This milestone was not completed in 2008 because of the lack of hornfaced bee population needed to send to the 25 participants. This will be done in 2009. Research on determining bee field population density for pollination will be conducted in 2009 as a result of increasing the required bee population in 2008.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
In 2008, Dr. Yong-Lak Park, WVU Entomologist, assisted in issues relating to mite infestations of horfaced bees. Research was conducted on a method to control the mite infestation which included determining mite nest-to-nest dispersal methods from the bee nesting tubes. Research was also conducted on utilizing essential oils to eradicate mite infestations from bee nesting tubes. This research was critical to ensure that the project was not sending out mite infected hornfaced bee nesting tubes to blueberry growers. A portion of this research was accepted for publication in 2008 with a publication date in early 2009.
Park, Y.-L., V. Kondo, J. White, T. West, B. McConnell, T. McCutcheon. Accepted: September 29, 2008. Nest-to-nest dispersal of Chaetodactylus krombeini (Acari, Chaetodactylidae) associated with Osmia cornifrons (Hym., Megachilidae). Journal of Applied Entomology.