A Measurement of the Pollination Success of Native Bees in North Georgia Apple Orchards: Is there a need for Commercial European Honeybees?

Project Overview

Project Type: On-Farm Research
Funds awarded in 2011: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Grant Recipient: Georgia Gwinnett College
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Mark Schlueter
Georgia Gwinnet College

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: apples, general tree fruits


  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, wildlife
  • Pest Management: traps
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Honeybees pollinate 1/3 of all human food crops. The value of honeybee pollination to U.S. agriculture is over $15 billion each year. However, agricultural operations worldwide are facing a growing dilemma that threatens food production: the rapid decline of the Honeybee.

    A solution to this problem is the diverse assortment of native bees. Many of these bees have the potential to supplement or replace the dwindling honeybee as the primary pollinator for a range of crops.

    The focus of the current project was to identify the native bees present in North Georgia apple orchards, and to measure their pollination success.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The study had two main objectives.

    (1) The first objective was to conduct a survey of the native bees present in North Georgia Apple Orchards from March to September 2011, in order to measure native bee species diversity and abundance before, during, and after the apple bloom.

    (2) The second objective was to measure the success of native bees in apple pollination and fruit production.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.