Pollination Weather

Today is world bee day, and in celebration the sun has come out! Bees are essential to pollination in many of our Vancouver Island crops, and we are lucky to have a diversity of different bee types present and contributing to our agriculture!

Bumble bee in blueberry. © Bonnie Zand, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC).

Long-tongued bees like bumble bees are amazing pollinators of blueberries, and, they are much better at flying in cool weather than honey bees are. They also are able to buzz pollinate, which gives them an advantage in pollinating crops such as tomatoes.

Western bumble bee in tomato. © theobroma85, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC).

With the sun, honey bees will be out flying, and they prefer open flowers with accessible pollen and nectar - like apples!

Honey bee in apple. © Bonnie Zand, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)

Strawberry flowers are attractive to many bees , including some tiny sweat bees.

Small sweat bee in strawberry. © Bob McDougall, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC).

Overwintered brassicas left to bloom provide great resources for many bees before and after other crops bloom.

Mason and mining bees on overwintered kale. © Bonnie Zand, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC).

Having something in bloom throughout the growing season (including weeds!) supports bees by providing food resources for their entire lifecycle, meaning bee populations grow and crop pollination improves.

Sweat bee on dandelion. © Bonnie Zand, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)

What are bees pollinating on your farm or garden? What are you growing, or leaving to bloom to support bee populations? Add you sightings to our iNaturalist project, and check out this brochure with suggestions for making your farm more pollinator friendly: https://xerces.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/08-006_01_XercesSoc_Farming-for-Pollinators-brochure.pdf

Posted on May 20, 2022 07:10 PM by bzand bzand


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