[NAFEX] Carpenter bees as pollinators

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Sun Apr 25 08:21:50 EDT 2010


Until someone straitened me out I had assumed that my vast carpenter bee
population was actually bumblebees.  Now that I've been corrected I am very
surprised about how active these bees are at working my fruit trees, the
volume of buzzing around trees is almost scary.

When I tried searching for information on their usefulness as fruit tree
pollinators I came up with no research on this subject and only anecdotal
observations, except for passion fruit production in the tropics.

>From my observations this season, I would have to assume that they are
perhaps the most affective pollinators on my property, although I have a
wide range of smaller natives that probably could do the work all by
themselves.

The thing is that the entire population seems to be derived from just about
20 feet of 8" by 1" boards that are cosmetic trim on the south side of my
stucco cement block house.

Other orchards I manage nearby don't have a single carpenter bee working
their trees and I'm thinking I could encourage them by creating nesting
sites.
http://www.ehow.com/how_5099006_build-nest-carpenter-bees.html

I have read that they can damage blueberry flowers but have not done so at
all on my property, although they actively work the flowers themselves.  The
University of Georgia recommends poisoning them on commercial blueberry
production sites.  Glad I didn't read that before I'd already been growing
blueberries here for 20 years without ever seeing a damaged flower and
always getting heavy blueberry crops.

Anyone have any information on these insects as fruit tree pollinators?  I'm
warn out from trying to find anything substantial through google.
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