Not Just Honey Bees

It has been stated repeatedly that native pollinators, not just honeybees, are important to pollinating our crops and wild plants. Now we have results of a bold experiment that confirms the vitality of pollinators other than honeybees.

Bryan Danforth, a bee biologist, found 105 wild pollinators in 30 commercial orchards that also were paying to hire hives of honeybees. If that expense were unnecessary, it could boost profits.

At Cornell University in Ithaca New York there is an experimental apple orchard that provided apples for this writer and his woodchucks many years ago.  The mangers of the Cornell experimental orchard cooperated with the bee biologist to experimentally eliminate the hired hives of honeybees and measure the apple crop produced by only wild pollinators. This experiment would determine whether or not, wild pollinators could provide adequate pollination for a commercial crop of apples.

The orchard manager, Eric Shatt, predicts that this year’s harvest will be 100% of full normal crop. Number of bushels will be available soon. More information at:

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