Honey bees continue to disappear and there is some concern that pollination of crops will suffer. WSU entomologist, David Crowder says they are working with other kinds of pollinators.
CROWDER: My student, Eli Bloom, who has been a Ph.D. student in my lab for about a year started working on this project with farmers in Western Washington. A lot of farmers in Western Washington have diversified kinds of operations where they're growing a lot of fruit and vegetable crops that require pollination. Nationally, honey bees have been on the decline. Costs associated with maintaining hives have been going up and so a lot of growers have approached us with interest in kind of understanding more about these native pollinators that might be providing some services on these farms.
Native pollinators tend to be different kinds of bees other than honey bees like bumble bees.
CROWDER: A lot of these pollinators are present in these farming systems even if people don't know very much about them and so our project is really to try to: number one just figure out what bees are out there providing these important pollination services on these farms in Western Washington and then to try and promote habitats that will help conserve these bee populations.
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.