Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Posted by skypirate7 GA (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 10:38

Last summer I planted over a dozen rabbiteye blueberries of different cultivars in my backyard in Atlanta's northern suburbs. I picked rabbiteyes based on my online research that they were native to Georgia and the most-recommended (as opposed to southern highbush which are self-fertile).

Now I'm wondering about pollinators. I came across this map and it seems the blueberry bee's range is mostly confined to the southern part of the state: http://www.natureserve.org/getData/pollinator/habropodaLaboriosa.jsp

Should I be concerned?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Not necessarily. I live near Montgomery AL and the hardest working ladies on our rabbiteyes are the carpenter bees. Those are the ones that look like big bumble bees.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Good to know... though I've heard that carpenter bees "steal" the nectar without pollinating by cutting slits in the sides of the flowers.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Dont hold your breath on the Blueberry Bee. Im suppost to be in the middle of Blueberry Bee territory and havent seen one in 3 years so far. Plenty of wild honey bees in my area along with some bumble bees. I have noticed that when my SHB are blooming the Rabbiteyes get no love. Once all the blooms drop they hit the Rabbiteyes pretty good. I ordered some Hornfaced Mason Bees a few weeks ago and most of the males have hatched along with some femals but none have stuck around. They hatch and fly away! Next season I will have to order more than I did this season. Hopefully a few will decide to hang around.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 16:23

Our blueberry shrubs are mostly pollinated by bumblebees, here in Madison, WI. I have seen honeybees in our yard every summer, but the blueberries are done blooming by the time the honeybees show up. We also have digger bees in our yard, but I think they are more common in the summer, rather than April, when the blueberries are flowering. Wild bees will do best if no insecticide and weed-killers are used in the lawn & garden.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

From what I understand, it's the honey bee that steals the nectar by cutting a hole in the side of the blossom because their tongue isn't long enough.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

It is the Carpenter Bee that cuts the holes,but other bees take advantage of the easier way made by them. Brady

Here is a link that might be useful: Pollination:Other Pollinating Bees


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Good info! My apologies. I stand corrected.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

I watched a carpenter bee poke holes in about 40 blueberry flowers today. It looked like it was vibrating the flowers as he feed so I guess he is actually pollinating even though his head isn't in the flower?


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators1

Well I just read that pollinating article and it looks as though carpenter bees should be controlled in blueberry sites. I'm on the hunt now!


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Hi friends. I'm the original poster and I'm back. My blueberries are in full bloom (maybe even passing full bloom) and I have only seen 1 bee browsing the flowers - it was the fuzzy kind so I think it was a bumblebee. It's a bit depressing to think I might not get more than a couple berries this season from a dozen bushes. Where are the pollinators? :(


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

I haven't seen very many bees on my Rabbiteyes either. A honey bee from time to time. Carpenter and bumble bees every now and then. Even so, a lot of berries have set. I'd say close to 80-90%. This seems to be the norm for my Rabbiteyes, lite pollination but heavy fruit set. I don't know? Just hang in there and you will have some fruit. Chances are all the varieties of bees coming to your plants are coming early in the morning and I promise some are there when your not looking. Unless you are out there staring at your plants all day every day you really never know how much pollination your really getting. Bumble bees are very efficient at pollinating blueberries so it doesn't take very many visits to pollinate. I'm looking at my plants right now with no bees at all and look at the fruit set. Correction, I see one honey bee!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Wow your blueberry plants look great. I'm in zone 7B. Mine don't have any berries set yet. Just flowers and new leaves. Perhaps spring here is only just getting started.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Perhaps spring here is only just getting started.

That seems to be the case here in NC -- spring hasn't been all that springy so far, but, after yesterday's cold rain, our forecast is looking quite nice. I've seen some a few bees so far, but I expect to see a lot more activity once we have a string of 70 degree days and warmer nights.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

All bumbles feed on pollen of flowers blueberries get very little help from pollinators. There change but did not happen this year If watch you catch bumbles eating pollen if temperature warm so fly and work some came around here this year but to cool for them to feed. Check blueberry flower after a visit you see pollen stems cut off they also feed on very small insects catch in flied. If see one stop in like he looking at wood on house he take off to top house catch small insects as comes over top.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

I haven't noticed bumble bees eating pollen stems. Never heard that one. Carpenter bees will cut slits in the side of the flower and rob nectar with out pollinating the flower. After they cut the flowers honey bees go from flower to flower looking for the slits so they can steal nectar too. I've seen them skip a uncut flowers over and over looking for the cut flower. Bumble bees use buzz pollination and that's why they are so efficient at pollinating blues. You can actually hear them buzzing on the flower as they collect the pollen.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

They eat pollen leave stems you see stems at end pollen be gone. Search pollen eaters you may find.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pollen eaters web page


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Bumble bees use buzz pollination and that's why they are so efficient at pollinating blues. You can actually hear them buzzing on the flower as they collect the pollen.

I spent a few minutes watching a bumblebee the other day as it worked its way through my blueberries at an amazing rate of speed. The buzz pollination method that you mentioned was fun to observe (and listen to). I began watching because, at first glance, I wasn't sure if it was a bumblebee or carpenter bee. I've observed carpenter bee damage on blueberry flowers after the fact, but I've never seen them in action.


 o
RE: Rabbiteye Blueberries and pollinators

Interesting....

My real question is... Are you having trouble with not getting fruit when you have plenty of flowers?

My blueberries provide plenty of fruit - so any interest I would have about which bee or moth provided the pollination is purely academic...

Thanks


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here