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Article

Analysis of Pollination Services Provided by Wild and Managed Bees (Apoidea) in Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) Production in Maine, USA, with a Literature Review

1
George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill, ME 04614, USA
2
School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(9), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091413
Received: 17 August 2020 / Revised: 11 September 2020 / Accepted: 15 September 2020 / Published: 17 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollinator Diversity and Pollination in Agricultural Systems)
Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) in the United States. Pollination comes from combinations of honey bees (Apis mellifera (L.)), commercial bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson), and wild bees. This study addresses (1) previous research addressing wild-blueberry pollination, (2) effects of wild-bee and honey-bee activity densities on fruit set, yield, and crop value, (3) the economic value of wild-bee communities, and (4) economic consequences of pollinator loss. Bee communities were sampled in 40 fields over three years (2010–2012) and bee activity densities were estimated for bumble bees, honey bees, and other wild bees. These data were applied to an economic model to estimate the value of bee taxa. Bumble bees and honey bees predicted fruit set and reduced its spatial heterogeneity. Other wild bees were not significant predictors of fruit set. Yield was predicted by fruit set and field size, but not pest management tactics. Our analysis showed that disruption in supply of honey bees would result in nearly a 30% decrease in crop yield, buffered in part by wild bees that provide “background” levels of pollination. Honey-bee stocking density and, thus, the activity density of honey bees was greater in larger fields, but not for wild bees. Therefore, a decrease in crop yield would be greater than 30% for large fields due to the proportionally greater investment in honey bees in large fields and a relatively lower contribution by wild bees. View Full-Text
Keywords: bumble bee; Bombus; honey bee; Apis; wild blueberry; fruit set; pollination services bumble bee; Bombus; honey bee; Apis; wild blueberry; fruit set; pollination services
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bushmann, S.L.; Drummond, F.A. Analysis of Pollination Services Provided by Wild and Managed Bees (Apoidea) in Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) Production in Maine, USA, with a Literature Review. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1413. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091413

AMA Style

Bushmann SL, Drummond FA. Analysis of Pollination Services Provided by Wild and Managed Bees (Apoidea) in Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) Production in Maine, USA, with a Literature Review. Agronomy. 2020; 10(9):1413. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091413

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bushmann, Sara L., and Francis A. Drummond 2020. "Analysis of Pollination Services Provided by Wild and Managed Bees (Apoidea) in Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) Production in Maine, USA, with a Literature Review" Agronomy 10, no. 9: 1413. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091413

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