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Effects of Increased Pollinator Levels on Production of the Highbush Blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum1

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The major factors contributing to the decline of blueberry yields in the Michigan-Indiana region seem to be low pollinator populations and strong discrimination by pollinators among blubbery varieties. Honey bees, Apis mellifera L., showed a strong preference for the 'Rubel' variety over 'Jersey: the major commercial variety. Under experimental conditions, honey bees used as pollinators increased production nearly 5-fold. Berry size and maturation rate were also increased. Two strong colonies of honey bees per acre of blueberries under good weather conditions appeared to be adequate for pollination purposes. At this concentration honey bees did not appear to exhibit varietals preferences. Two-year observations indicate that fertilization recommendations may need to be altered to permit the heavy yearly production made possible by high honey bee populations. Seed counts of fruit from the experimental plots indicate that the changes observed in fruit characteristics resulted from increased pollination.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1969

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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