Our objective was to compare pollination by honey bees and bumble bees in Oregon cranberries. Colonies were connected to 1m x 1m cages and the following treatments were compared: 1) bumble bees; 2) honey bees; 3) control (no bees); and 4) open pollination (all bees). The experiment was set up in two separate cranberry beds with four replications.
Pollination success was evaluated using the following parameters: berry yield (g/m2); number of berries/m2; size of berries; and number of seeds/berry. An analysis of variance indicated that for all parameters considered, honey bees and bumble bees did not differ significantly from each other (p values > 0.05). However, due to cage effect, yield in bee pollinated cages was lower than yield in open pollinated plots. Options for build-up of bumble bee populations for enhancing cranberry pollination will be discussed.
See more of: Student TMP Competition