LUEBERRY ENTHUSIASTS might love to pick and
admire the perfect berry before plopping it in their
mouth. Visions of pies, smoothies, summertime and
even festivals may fill their minds. But most likely,
they don’t give a thought to the necessity of honeybees in the
creation of one of their favorite fruits.
All types of bees play a crucial role in the world’s food pro-duction.
They pollinate about 75 percent of the fruits, nuts
and vegetables grown in the United States, reports the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. Simply put, without bees there
would be no blueberries.
The blueberry farm industry is growing rapidly in southeast-ern
North Carolina, causing the demand for honeybees to keep
pace. Commercial farmers rent beehives to help pollinate berries
and other crops because there just are not enough wild bees to
even begin to get the job done.
“In modern agriculture, a farmer may have 500 acres of one
solid crop,” says Grant Stiles of Stiles Apiaries in New Jersey.
“Native bees will only do some pollination along the edges of the
farm; therefore, you need honeybee pollination.”
Stiles overwinters bees in Pender County, which he rents to
A honeybee pollinates blossoms at Ivanhoe Blueberry Farm
in April 2020.
WBM may 2020
Whether meteorites the ALLISON POTTER
No Bees • No Berries
BY CHRISTINE R. GONZALEZ
Bees — and
play an essential
role in blueberry