[NAFEX] Alternative pollinators

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Thu Aug 4 11:49:47 EDT 2005

Alan wrote:
>The mason bee discussion has me wondering how many of you >all see
non-honeybee pollinators on your fruit plants and their >relative
importance to your overall pollination?

We have hundreds of fruiting plants on our two acres, with no lack of
pollination, including for pawpaws.  Honeybees dropped off about 8-10
years ago, but now are back, and for the first time, we have a wild
hive in an old locust tree.  Gooseberries, currants and jujube are
pollinated by all manner of small bees and wasps, and other plants
benefit from solitary pollinators, plus bumblebees which inhabit
abandoned mouse nests in our field.  We see pollinators from Feb on
Cornus mas to now on raspberries and jujube.  In a perverse way, the
fireblight thinned many of our apple trees just about right, we've
missed freezes the last couple of years that help thin the plum crop.
Our orchard mason bee population peaked and crashed when parasitized,
with no noticeable change in fruit yields.  We do maintain brushpiles
with herbaceous stems, and seldom mown spots for field mouse nesting
In summary, though in a suburban area within city limits, enough of
our and neighbors land is minimally managed, to allow plenty of
pollinator reproduction sites.

Richard Moyer
Zone 6, East Tennessee

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