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Environments 2018, 5(9), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5090098

What Is the Value of Wild Bee Pollination for Wild Blueberries and Cranberries, and Who Values It?

1
School of Economics, University of Maine, 206 Winslow Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA
2
School of Biology & Ecology University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
3
University of Maine Cooperative Extension, University of Maine, 5722 Deering Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA
4
Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts, 224 Stockbridge Hall, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
5
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, 1423 Broadway, Bangor, ME 04401, USA
6
Department of Anthropology, University of Maine, 5773 South Stevens Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA
7
UMass Cranberry Station, 1 State Bog Road, P.O. Box 569, East Wareham, MA 02538, USA
8
U.S. Geological Survey, Maine Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, 5755 Nutting Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA
9
School of Food & Agriculture, University of Maine, Deering Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA
10
Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Holdsworth Hall, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Ecosystem Services)
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Abstract

Pollinator conservation efforts and growing interest in wild bee pollination have increased markedly in the last decade, making it increasingly important to have clear and practical estimates of the value of pollinators to agriculture. We used agricultural statistics, socio-economic producer surveys, and agronomic field research data to estimate traditional pollination value metrics and create novel approaches to the valuation of the ecosystem services provided by wild pollinators. Using two regionally important United States (USA) crops—Maine wild blueberry and Massachusetts cranberry—as models, we present the perceived values of wild bee pollinators from the perspectives of both consumers and producers. The net income attributable to wild bees was similar for wild blueberry ($613/ha) and cranberry ($689/ha). Marginal profit from incrementally adding more hives per ha was greater from stocking a third/fourth hive for cranberry ($6206/ha) than stocking a ninth/10th hive for wild blueberry ($556/ha), given the greater initial responsiveness of yield, revenue, and profit using rented honey bee hives in cranberry compared with wild blueberry. Both crops’ producers were willing to annually invest only $140–188/ha in wild pollination enhancements on their farms, justifying government financial support. Consumers are willing to pay ≈6.7 times more to support wild bees than producers, which indicates a potential source for market-based subsidies for invertebrate conservation. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollination value; wild bees; economics; production function; willingness to pay; contingent valuation; stated preference; wild blueberry; cranberry; survey pollination value; wild bees; economics; production function; willingness to pay; contingent valuation; stated preference; wild blueberry; cranberry; survey
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Hoshide, A.K.; Drummond, F.A.; Stevens, T.H.; Venturini, E.M.; Hanes, S.P.; Sylvia, M.M.; Loftin, C.S.; Yarborough, D.E.; Averill, A.L. What Is the Value of Wild Bee Pollination for Wild Blueberries and Cranberries, and Who Values It? Environments 2018, 5, 98.

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