[NAFEX] Honeybee question Off-Topic

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Fri Jul 31 23:52:04 EDT 2009

Yes, I have a permanent chicken wire fence around my half-high  
blueberries and toss bird netting over the top when they get close to  
ripe.  The bumble bees can get through the netting, but it's hard for  
them, and I don't want to make life hard for my pollinators.

I don't know if my bees are "special blueberry bees".  They look like  
largish bumblebees, and I can see them poking their proboscis into the  
flower in the usual way.  I have some wild blueberries, too, so I'm  
sure I have all the usual stuff that interacts with blueberries.

So far I my blueberries haven't been troubled much by pests, except  
the birds and chipmunks eating the fruit.  (And the ones in the back,  
unfenced, were eaten to the ground by deer last winter.  sigh.)  Guess  
I've been lucky on the insect front.


On Jul 31, 2009, at 11:40 PM, Kieran &/or Donna wrote:

> I'm pretty sure that blueberries are only pollinated by special  
> blueberry bees, they are a type of bumblebee. The regular bumblebees  
> cheat by punching a hole in the side of the blossom to get the  
> nectar without pollinating the flower.  Blueberry bees hang upside  
> down from the flower and vibrate the pollen loose.
>     I personally think you'd be crazy to try to exclude something as  
> small as junebugs.  Here, Junebug populations change from year to  
> year.  You could be overreacting to one bad year.  Birds are another  
> matter.  If you want to keep them out of the patch for a few short  
> weeks a year, bird netting will do.  I think it's Ginda who has the  
> permanent chicken wire on the sides of her patch and covers the top  
> when the berries are ripe?
>     Now that I think of it, the Junebugs did a lot more damage to  
> the blackberries than the blueberries.  I think they are using  
> pheromones to call each other like Japanese beetles do, so removing  
> new arrivals daily might stop them from accumulating.    Donna
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